Works in partnership with you at every stage of a project to help you achieve your development objectives, while taking account of your site’s natural setting, the constraints posed by trees and your regulatory obligations.


Trees can be both a constraint and an asset to a development: either way, they represent a significant planning challenge. Our expertise in tree morphology, combined with a thorough understanding of the planning landscape, makes us ideally equipped to help you progress your development project, from pre-purchase assessments through to post-development management.

Importantly, we don’t just hand over a report and walk away: we’ll help you manage and execute any recommendations within the report to ensure you achieve both your development objectives and compliance requirements.

Keep reading to find out how we might be able to help you, or call us on 0845 643 1161 for an informal chat.

BS 5837 Tree Surveys & Constraints Plans

British Standard 5837: 2012 ‘Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction - Recommendations’ sets out the arboricultural process that should be followed wherever development is proposed next to existing trees. It gives recommendations on assessing the quality of existing tree stock and offers guidance on how trees might be safely and harmoniously retained within a scheme by identifying and reflecting their associated constraints. It also contains guidance on how retained trees should be protected during demolition and development.

We offer the complete range of arboricultural consultancy services specified in the Standard – designed to follow the RIBA building stages - and can, when required, act as part of a development team working with architects, surveyors, engineers, landscape architects and ecologists. JP Associates’ services include:

  • Pre-planning/feasibility - initial tree survey, signed and issued at the date of the site survey. This is the start point of the BS 5837 arboricultural process. It is based purely on the trees as they stand, irrespective of any development proposals. It identifies the significant trees that should be retained and that should influence any layout, and those that should or could be removed.
  • Conceptual design - arboricultural impact assessment, to include constraint information and plan, initial layout impact, design alterations needed to mitigate any conflict ending with draft tree protection plan that includes method statement heads of terms
  • Detailed technical design - detailed method statement and final tree protection plan to include details of site monitoring and a tree work schedule
  • Implementation - undertake site monitoring programme and work supervision/aftercare as required.
Soil compaction testing

The soil compaction tester, known as a penetrometer, allows us to test for soil compaction around trees where, for example, there has been significant footfall or around retained trees on development sites that may not have been adequately protected during works. The tester takes readings – measured in pounds per square inch (psi) - at varying soil depths from three to 18 inches, thus giving a clear picture of the extent of the problem. The results will enable us to recommend suitable remedial actions to improve the condition of the soil and promote better tree health.

Tree Protection Plans

Tree protection plans (TPPs), along with method statements, are the culmination of the BS 5837 survey process. TPPs indicate the trees that are to be felled, shows the trees that are to be retained and their root protection areas (RPAs) and details the appropriate type of protection barrier to be erected. Where necessary they will also include details of the location and specification for temporary ground protection, and give notes on site access and any other information required to protect the retained trees.

Site Supervision & Project Management

Tree protection plans and method statements are usually conditioned as part of planning consent. Once a development gets underway it is vital for clients to ensure tree work, tree protection measures and work methods are implemented as per the approved plans. JP Associates can act as project managers and will carry out regular site visits to monitor progress, sign off tree work as it is completed satisfactorily and provide site inspection reports where required. We maintain close links with the arborist sector and can advise on a suitable, experienced contractor if necessary.

Arboricultural Impact Assessments

Local authorities may require developers to provide separate evidence showing the impact of all retained trees and the necessary mitigation. JP Associates' arboricultural impact assessments (AIAs) draw on both our planning and arboricultural expertise to meet this need.

Discharge of Planning Conditions

If planning consent is granted there are usually conditions concerning the retained trees, and we can advise you on how best to discharge those conditions. When we have been involved in a project from the outset and planning consent is refused due to a perceived impact on trees, JP Associates can act for the client throughout the appeal.

NHBC Zone of Influence Surveys

Engineers often require tree-related information when designing building foundations to determine the correct foundation depth to resist subsidence. NHBC chapter 4.2 Building near Trees gives guidance on meeting the technical requirements when building near trees, hedgerows and shrubs, particularly in shrinkable soils.

Where required JP Associates’ arborists will carry out surveys in accordance with NHBC specifications to identify tree species and heights so that the zone of tree influence (as it relates to water demand and soil type) can be determined.