Arborcheck can be used in a wide variety of different applications within the day-to-day running of an arboricultural practice. The following points describe the some of the key areas where Arborcheck can be a valuable addition.

Routine testing of trees on development sites

A common intervention for local authority tree officers involves mature trees within or on the fringes of development/construction sites that are damaged physically or chemically either by accident or alleged intentional sabotage.

Using Arborcheck before and during construction work allows the arborist to quickly and effectively identify issues affecting the trees which otherwise may not manifest until after the construction work is completed. In legal challenges, Arborcheck results may be used as compelling evidence both for prosecution and/or defence parties since the techniques used have such strong grounding in peer reviewed scientific publication.

Biosecurity programmes

With the large number of potentially devastating pests and diseases creeping ever closer to our borders, there has never been a more critical time to closely monitor imported tree stock. Importing by UK nurseries is necessary to provide the extensive range of species, size and colour that are required by their customers. A policy of placing imported trees in quarantine for a full growing season prior to planting and subjecting the trees to rigorous and routine inspection for pests and diseases is an area where Arborcheck could be highly effective. Any problem that affects the vascular system of the tree and in turn, photosynthesis, could be detected before visual symptoms become apparent.

Selection of quality planting stock

The selection of planting stock has traditionally been carried out predominantly based on visual criteria. Whilst this is an important aspect of tree selection, it is virtually impossible to detect physiological defects in the tree which are visually undetectable yet could cause the tree to die within the first few years post-planting. Arborcheck allows trees to be tested (when in leaf) prior to purchase to ensure that the vitality of the tree is sound from a physiological stand point in addition to a visual perspective. This additional level of the stock selection process can help to prevent costly remediation and/or replanting work that can arise where trees in a poor physiological state are purchased and planted.

Routine testing of planted stock

The first few years post-planting are critical for a young tree to achieve independence within the landscape. In addition to stock with poor physiological condition (see above), trees can fail for a variety of reasons including inadequate planting or poor routine maintenance.

The British Standard “BS8545 Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape – Recommendations” describes the use of chlorophyll fluorescence and chlorophyll content measurements as tests that “should be carried out wherever practicable”. Arborcheck can help to highlight abnormal decline in tree vitality post-planting so that remedial work may be carried out before the tree becomes a costly re-planting exercise.