Tree care is a very intricate subject and only those who are well qualified and trained in this field can do full justice to the profession. A tree consultant primarily is an arborist but unlike a tree contractor who is also an arborist has to take on higher responsibilities mainly in an advisory role.
What then are the functions of a tree consultant?
- Hazardous tree management – Trees that have been struck by lightning or have become old and diseased or structurally weak will be identified by a consultant and a decision will be taken on whether to prop them up with cables and bracing or have them removed.
- Ensuring implementation of tree preservation laws – A consultant will be well aware of laws and regulations regarding tree preservation. Hence he will be competent to give evidence to the planning inspectorate on their proper implementation. This is especially true for tree removal, an area where there is typically stringent legislations in place.
- Landscape beautification and design – This is very crucial and apart from a sense of aesthetics, it requires in-depth knowledge of tree care and the types of plants that will contribute to the overall beauty of the surroundings. Laying out a well planned and designed garden requires great professional expertise on the part of the consultant.
- Investigating damage and accidents – Structural damage to buildings from overgrowing trees or accidents resulting from inadequate and below par tree work are investigated by a tree consultant and reports submitted to the concerned authorities. He might even be called upon to give expert evidence in a court of law in this regard.
- Submission of environment and ecological appraisal plans – It is often necessary to clear large forested land for developmental projects. A tree consultant is usually called upon to assess the situation and give his report on the project’s impact on the environment before such plans are sanctioned.
A tree consultant is therefore not merely well versed in tree care and surgery; his functions include statutory obligations as well.