Moving to a New House: Should You Order a Tree Report?

Moving to a New House: Should You Order a Tree Report?

20 December 2019
 Categories: , Blog

You've found the perfect house for you and your family. You've mulled it over and have decided to make an offer. Just think of what you can do with the space and the great times that you and your family will have in your new home. And what about that backyard with its magnificent trees? The trees are an established part of the overall property, and after the settlement date, they will become your responsibility. Have you ever considered the benefits of obtaining a tree report before you move in?

The Status of Your New Trees

A tree report is a broad term that allows you to properly understand the status of the trees on the property. It covers any potential risks (and liabilities arising from those risks), as well as laws governing any removal or modification of the trees. So what exactly would be covered, and who can issue tree reports?

Preparing the Report

Any qualified arborist can prepare a tree report (just look for local companies dealing with tree management), and there are a number of things that should be covered.

Protection Orders

If the trees are subject to a protection or heritage order, this can limit your ability to remove or even prune them, and this is essentially a recognition of the role a major tree can play in your local ecosystem. The tree report will state whether this applies to your trees. Such trees can generally only be removed or modified under specific circumstances, such as if the tree poses an immediate risk to surrounding property (and by extension, any persons who might be in the vicinity).

Risk Factors

Any risk that the tree might pose will be covered in the report, as it should include an assessment of the tree's overall health. For example, a sick tree is more likely to shed branches than a healthy tree. This could result in permission being granted for the removal of the tree. While your home's insurance policy will likely cover any damage that might arise from damage caused by an ailing tree on your property, it's best to avoid this eventuality altogether by being well aware of the problem, which allows you to take the necessary action to prevent it from happening.

In short, if your prospective new property contains a number of large, well-established trees, and you cannot exclude the possibility that you might one day want to remove them or at least significantly modify their size, so a tree report can be a handy investment.