Trees are an important consideration for any development, and they are frequently one of the environmental constraints that must be considered as part of a local authority’s validation processes. Wharton provides Tree Surveys and Tree Reports for planning applications. Our arboricultural consultants’ experience in managing trees on sites earmarked for demolition or development, as well as understanding the nuances of the planning system, can mean the difference between success and failure with your planning application.

Wharton approach to BS5837 Tree Surveys


Capture Key Project Details

Before we can head out to your Site and conduct a Tree Survey, we’ll need to ask you a few key questions about your project. Fill out our quick and easy online form so we can capture the most important project information and provide you with a free quote that includes everything you need to know.

You can also call one of our friendly and dedicated administration team for a chat so we can answer any further questions you may have about your project, trees and tree risk, protected trees or the nuances of the planning process and regulations.

Once you are satisfied with our quote, you can let us know via email, or call us on 01789 459458


We appoint your Arboricultural Consultant

Once your project has been entered into our internal system, it will be assigned to an Arboricultural Consultant who will serve as your project coordinator.

Your primary point of contact will be this Consultant. This is what separates us from the rest – having a dedicated Consultant who you can contact directly helps to develop deeper working relationships and can help to address any issues and ease the entire process.

Wharton Arboricultural Consultants are all appropriately certified and competent. Our Consultants also focus on quality, not just numbers. They have a proven track record of assisting our clients in identifying successful natural-infrastructure solutions for even the most complex projects. We strive to consistently deliver high-quality, practical, and innovative project solutions on a consistent basis while adhering to industry legislation, policy, and best practices.


Schedule a BS5837 Tree Survey

Your Arboricultural Consultant will call you to arrange a mutually convenient date for the tree survey.

In most situations, we aim to visit your Site within 10 working days after our appointment. For clients with more pressing deadlines, we may be able to offer a 5-10 working day turnaround; however, this must be addressed in advance and may be subject to additional fees.

Our Arboricultural Consultant will utilise TreePlotter to record all tree data during the BS5837 Tree Survey. This process involves:

  • Recording the GPS coordinates of every tree, group of trees, woodland, or hedge on or adjacent to your property or Site.
  • Identify the species, measure above-ground constraints (e.g., crown spread, crown height), measure stem diameter to calculate perceived rooting area, and evaluate the physiological and structural condition of the features recorded.
  • Assign one of the four BS5837:2012 categories

The time required to complete a BS5837 tree survey will vary depending on several factors. For most Sites, a BS5837 tree survey is typically completed in one day, with larger Sites being completed between 1 and 5 days. 


Provide a Tree Constraints Plans (TCP)

The Tree Constraints Plan is created using the data collected during the tree survey. We generate a scaled AutoCad drawing displaying the position of the features recorded and their above ground constraints e.g., trees canopy, as well as the root protection areas for each feature to represent the below-ground constraints. 

This Constraints Plan is created to be a design tool to help identify development potential and should be used at the planning, design & implementation stage of your project. Understanding the complete constraints and opportunities of any site, whether it be arboricultural, ecological, or topographical to name but a few elements, is critical in order to design and plan a successful proposal.

A BS5837 Tree Survey is frequently required by your acting planning authority before planning approval may be granted.


Assess the Impacts on Trees

An Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) is a technical, written tree assessment that must be provided with your planning application in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of BS5837:2012. It considers all the indirect impacts of a proposed development or scheme design on trees within the proposed developable area and is prepared because of our collaboration with you to achieve a good balance between the natural and built environments, whether for green or brownfield sites, house extensions, or strategic land development.

Our strength stems from an intrinsic grasp of what we need to do to comply with legislation and policy, as well as what local planning authorities require and, most significantly, what you need to do for a development to be successful.

We aim to prepare all reports in 5 days of completing the survey, subject to receiving all the necessary information. When your report is drafted, and once subjected to internal quality assurance review, we will send it to you.


Provide support with Planning Conditions

A local planning authority may request supplementary information prior to a decision notice being given, or as part of a Planning Condition to approved development application. This is most likely to include the need for an Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS). The AMS demonstrates how trees will be safeguarded from damage during the demolition and construction phases and provides detail on working methodologies for installing a wide range of tree protection systems and mitigation measures.

An AMS will include a Tree Protection Plan (TPP). A TPP is a scaled, detailed drawing that outlines what protective measures are to be provided in relation to those trees being retained on a site during development.

Let’s get started!

We provide the natural advice you need to successfully balance commercial, environmental and human needs, naturally increasing the true value of your land or property.

Our highly qualified team can help you find the most successful natural-infrastructure solutions; minimise the risk to users of their land, form plans to improve ecology and advise construction companies how to work safely around their site.

Understanding the complete constraints and opportunities of any site, whether it be arboricultural, ecological or topographical to name but a few elements, is critical in order to design and plan a successful proposal.

Let’s begin!

Please let us know your contact information alongside with some details about the project

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The four key stages of the planning process



Feasibility & Constraints (RIBA Phase 0-2)

Wharton will conduct a tree survey to produce a Tree Constraints Plan and Tree Schedule of all trees within the Site and those considered to be within influencing distance. This information can be communicated to your design team.

This is often the minimum requirement for most planning applications.


Planning application

Planning Application phase (RIBA Phase 3)

Following a tree survey and upon receipt of your development proposals, Wharton will prepare an Arboricultural Impact Assessment to submit alongside your planning application. 

This will enable the Local Planning Authority to make a positive decision on your application. The impact assessment will outline the constraints posed to the development and make recommendations on the retention or removal of existing trees and any mitigation measures. We will work with you to ensure planning permission is achieved.



Planning Application/Planning Conditions (RIBA Phase 4)

Where trees pose a constraint, the Local Planning Authority may request an Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS), typically as a planning condition. The AMS specifies how the retained trees will be protected through the development process (including specification of the demolition and/or construction phases).


Site implementation

On-site work and site completion (RIBA Phase 5-7)

The appointment of an appropriately qualified and competent arboricultural clerk of works (ACoW) is critical to the success of the approved development. It guarantees that what is approved at planning is delivered and that the final development satisfies the goals of tree retention and tree establishment.