Welcome to Arborcheck

Arborcheck instruments are designed specifically to allow arborists to make quick and easy, non-destructive physiological assessments of tree health using hand-held, cost effective instrumentation. The Arborcheck system is a recommended tool for monitoring the physiological health of trees. With many particularly virulent pests and diseases spreading rapidly across the Globe, arboricultural researchers and practitioners are reaching for new, innovative diagnostic techniques to go hand-in-hand with the more traditional methods to formulate effective strategies for biosecurity, sustainability and population management.

The system uses 2 instruments which test the physiological health of the tree using the following proven and widely used scientific research methods:

  • Chlorophyll fluorescence
    The ArbFl-01 Chlorophyll Fluorescence System (Chlorophyll fluorimeter) is the primary instrument in Arborcheck systems and provides calculations of Photosynthetic Efficiency and Vitality of an individual tree via 10 simple 1 second measurements from 10 individual leaves. Chlorophyll fluorescence is a technique that has been used widely for many years by scientists all over the world involved in the research of photosynthetic efficiency. It is used as a means of detecting physiological damage caused by biotic or abiotic stress factors. The very nature of the technique ensures early detection of stress that could lead to decline well before visible symptoms manifest
  • Chlorophyll content
    The ArbCm-01 Chlorophyll Content Meter  is an additional instrument that can be purchased as a bundle with the ArbFl-01 fluorimeter or as an additional tool at a later date. Chlorophyll content is another very simple optical measurement on an individual leaf which provides a reading of relative chlorophyll content. Stress limits the amount of carbohydrates available for growth and reduces nutrient uptake resulting in leaf chlorosis and necrosis. Exact knowledge of foliar chlorophyll concentrations, i.e. leaf greenness, consequently provides a robust and accurate estimation of tree vitality.

The values measured by the ArbFl-01 chlorophyll fluorimeter are downloaded to a bespoke Arborcheck Data Analysis app which is supplied pre-installed on a Google Nexus 7 Android tablet. Chlorophyll content values can also be typed in to the app during the analysis if available. The readings are then compared to a species specific Nursery Benchmark Database which has been independently compiled and verified by Dr. Glynn Percival and colleagues from  Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories based on identical measurements made annually since 2009 on trees grown in optimum conditions at the Barcham Trees nursery in the UK. The Nursery Benchmark Database currently contains optimum photosynthetic efficiency, vitality and chlorophyll content values from more than 600,000 individual leaf sample measurements taken from more than 350 tree species.

Arborcheck systems can be used effectively in many areas of arboriculture from the selection of physiologically sound planting stock through to quantitative assessment of stress in veteran trees on development sites. The techniques used by Arborcheck systems are scientifically proven to allow early detection of severely damaging stress factors well before visible symptoms are apparent. Arborcheck systems can also indicate a sound physiological framework on a tree that looks visibly in poor condition. Prompt and efficient remediation in these cases can often lead to a swift recovery of a tree that may otherwise have been felled based on a visual analysis.

Chlorophyll fluorescence testing is also cited in the new British Standard BS 8545: Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape as a recommended tool for ongoing monitoring of tree health post-planting.

Arborcheck Chlorophyll fluorescence stress detection in Arboriculture

Arborcheck is a collaborative project between 3 individual companies. Click here for further information on the commercial bodies behind the Arborcheck system.

The Nursery Benchmark Database currently has values for over 300 species! Click here to see if the species you’re working with is included.