How frequently should you inspect a high risk tree?

A recent Court of Appeal judgement found a defendant liable for a tree that fell and injured a passing bus driver.  The case turned on the matter of tree inspection when the judge found that a three year inspection regime was insufficient given the tree was deemed to be a high risk tree in a high risk location.  The defendant also failed to heed the earlier advice of two independent specialists who both recommended the lime tree should have been inspected more frequently than every three years.

This ruling has potential relevance to all tree owners and managers.  It highlights that zoning is still a material safeguard against the risk to the public, and it reinforces that a one-size-fits-all approach to the management of a tree population may not be legally defensible.  Further information on the circumstances surrounding the judgement and TEP’s advice to our clients can be found by following this link.