Permitting and Code Compliance

Tree issues have become a significant factor in the success of many developments. These issues are mandated by codes, ordinances, or the motivation of clients to preserve trees as an asset to their developments' amenities. Trees have become a crucial matter to the development community.

You need an Expert!

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Developers face an ever increasing awareness that they need a key player to best represent their interest. Expert Tree Consultants manages issues relating to trees including tree ordinance resolution and compliance, tree preservation, public relations, and the environment. They are a loyal team member from the planning process to project completion.

Whether trees are considered an asset to a development or not, they become problematic during the permitting process – many times a significant liability.

There are always two issues associated with trees and permitting, tree ordinances and the people involved with the process. Both issues can be daunting. Tree ordinances are guidelines to tree preservation. Too often they are viewed as rules. Tree ordinances are designed as a compromise between two extremes: clear cutting and unrealistic expectations of preservation. A careful examination of a tree ordinance reveals a matrix of choices which trigger certain events. Now enter the emotions of people and trees. Emotional reactions to tree removal, replacement and mitigation are difficult, if not impossible to ameliorate. There are always two paths to resolution. One can be found in science, or in other words, tree biology. The other solution can be found in presenting scientific facts to people to better implement the provisions of tree ordinances.

Science relates to definitions while applied tree biology relates to diminution in value. People relate to the big picture of preservation and sustainable urban forestry, whereas tree ordinances do not.

Trees won’t save themselves. Specifications must now be implemented. From barricades and periodic site inspections to root and canopy pruning, the job is under a microscope. Insect and disease protection, nutritional and soil amendments – the job goes on, sometimes for years. Reports to owners and regulatory agencies are necessary.

The consulting arborist of record must have a depth of resources, including certified arborists on staff, certified pest control operators to identify and prescribe treatments for pests and the ability to refer qualified sub-contractors throughout the state.

Successful Tree Inventories Start With…

You have just acquired a large piece of land for your new development with trees as far as the eye can see; now what.  There are strict tree ordinances and you know that you are going to have to pay for those trees, money; lots of money.  You have decided to conduct a tree inventory to lower your mitigation costs but you are not sure where to start.  What will you need in order to conduct a successful tree inventory?  The answer to that question starts with a certified arborist experienced in tree inventories, knowledge of tree ordinances and finally, a tree survey showing the location of the trees, boundary limits and limits of improvements.  By utilizing a skilled professional the end result will be a successful tree inventory and money saved.

A significant amount of knowledge is required to conduct a professional tree inventory and save money in tree mitigation.  The arborist not only needs to know how to assess trees based on health and structure utilizing basic tree biology they will need to be able to identify pests, disease and nutritional deficiencies.  They have to be skilled in utilizing special equipment to take necessary measurements to determine tree mitigation.  The certified arborist should also have the skills necessary to identify negligence issues as they relate to hazardous trees in the after situation of construction.  Once the inventory is complete they should have the ability to write an affective report identifying trees to be removed and trees to retain as a viable element in the landscape in the after situation of construction.

Tree ordinances can be very convoluted with information pertaining to those trees that will have to be mitigated.   Included is information relating to size in determining at what size is a tree considered a tree that must be included on the survey and in the inventory.  Most importantly, this size information may identify at what size mitigation starts.  Ordinances also contain information relating to a trees current condition and how that information may affect your mitigation costs.  Finally, important information about protected trees and grand trees are included in tree ordinances.   A certified arborist’s knowledge of the local tree ordinance ensures that you are only mitigating for those trees necessary.

A tree survey in of itself does not provide enough specific information to determine tree mitigation costs.  The tree survey becomes the map in order to conduct the tree inventory and creates a tool for communication in the future.  The arborist utilizes the survey to ensure all trees are accounted for in the inventory and annotates the survey accordingly to accompany the report.  The survey also serves as a picture of the after situation by including the limits of improvements, therefore; making realistic decisions about tree removal and preservation easier and more effective.

A tree inventory conducted by a qualified person with the necessary knowledge and tools will produce permitted projects with lower mitigation costs.  The data collected can be utilized by all the members of the team to make important decisions pertaining to trees to create a sustainable landscape.



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