Tree management

Whether you represent a local authority, housing association or private landowner, managing the trees on your estate requires careful and detailed plans for surveying, tree health monitoring and tree work scheduling.

We are often asked by our clients to recommend and implement robust tree management systems to meet these objectives. Having your trees digitally mapped and managed via an interactive database allows for proactive and efficient management.

Full services for all trees

Our team of specialists are able to offer a full suite of arboriculture services including a variety of services specifically for local authorities.

Tree Officer cover

We are able to provide short, medium or long-term solutions for local authorities requiring Tree Officer cover. Our fully qualified and experienced arboriculturists can assist in all aspects of the role, including planning, tree management and operations.

TPO reviews

Finding the time to review and update old Tree Preservation Orders can be almost impossible for many Tree Officers, Thomson’s arboriculturists are here to help. From the paper review stage to re-surveying, we provide a methodical and accurate service to ensure that your TPOs are up-to-date and defensible.

Tree surveys

Rolling tree surveys are essential for the good management of large tree stocks. However they can also be very time consuming and are therefore often overlooked. We can undertake large scale surveys using existing in-house tree management systems or can set up an entirely new database where this is needed. From highway trees to trees in parks, open spaces and council housing land, we offer a high quality, efficient and accurate service to satisfy all our tree survey requirements.

Independent arboricultural consultancy

It is often necessary to obtain an independent opinion on contentious planning issues. Whether it be an objective assessment of tree condition, amenity value or retention potential, we provide an unbiased service backed up by full written reports. Outcomes are supported by clear defensible decision making systems such as TEMPO or the Helliwell system.

Planning and development surveys (to BS5837)

Tree decay detection

We offer internal decay investigation services, utilising the Resistograph microdrill. All investigations are accompanied by a full written report detailing the methods used, results and recommendations for future management.

Integrated ecology service

As part of an environmental consultancy, we can provide a cost-efficient integrated tree and ecology services when protected species, such as bats, are highlighted during a tree survey or tree works. Our team of highly experienced licensed ecologists produce solutions to ecological issues as and when they arise and deliver results on time and to budget.

Managing tree stocks

Legal obligations

As a Landowner you will doubtless be aware of your legal obligations to visitors to your land (invited or otherwise) under the Occupier’s Liability Act (1957 and 1984) and the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). A Common Law duty of care is also owed to persons and structures on adjacent land. It must be shown that reasonable measures have been taken to ensure that persons and structures are reasonably safe. The only legally acceptable way to achieve this with regard to trees is by regularly scheduled inspections. Our team of arboricultural specialists offer a full suite of services including managing tree stocks for large landowners, such as local authorities, housing associations and private estates. From setting up a tree management programme, to sourcing the right tree management system, undertaking inspections and issuing works, Thomson Ecology can guide you through the whole process of effective tree management.

Tree surveys

Responsible large landowners have an ongoing programme of tree surveys, with trees on inspection cycles of between six months to five years, depending on their condition and their position (more frequent if they could cause harm if they or their branches fell down). This enables problems to be picked up before they become serious and encourages proactive management in line with current best practice.

Tree management software systems

We will generally fit in with your existing tree management systems, or we can advise on a variety of tree management software systems and propose the best available option for your sites. State of the art software systems allow us to combine a database of tree details, inspections and works with a mapping facility. Large amounts of tree data are then available in an easily accessible form. Some systems also have an incident management function allowing enquiry details to be recorded and linked to inspections. A full history of enquiries and subsequent actions can then be maintained.

Budget management

Tree management systems are also a useful tool to help us ensure that your budgets are tightly monitored and controlled. We enter agreed budgets and rates or quotations for works on to the system, highlighting the priority tree works. This ensures that throughout the years we know the exact expenditure against budget and highlight any variances early enough to review and, if necessary, take corrective action.

Works programming

Where our surveys reveal that significant tree works are required, we compile the work into manageable work orders and issue it to sub-contractors with maps and other useful information. This may be organised by location or by specific types of work, such as rounds of pollarding or epicormic growth removal.

Woodland management

Why do woodlands need management plans?

A Woodland Management Plan, which usually covers a five-year period and sets out the long-term vision for the wood, allows you to determine the effects and outcomes of current and past management on aspects of your woodland. Knowing what works and what doesn’t enables you to make timely adjustments to the management of the woodland to maximise benefits.

Our woodland management service

Thomson’s arboricultural consultants produce management plans and maps for woodlands on any scale to fulfil a range of objectives. We programme felling and thinning, coppicing and invasive weed clearance regimes, design access improvement and develop wildlife habitat creation schemes.


Good woodland management plans should be supported by maps that clearly illustrate the features and compartments of the woodland. The objectives for each compartment can be detailed along with the activities that will be carried out. Detailed and accurate maps are also a pre-requisite for many woodland grant applications. Thomson Ecology has a dedicated GIS team that can integrate GPS data and existing maps to generate detailed maps to meet your requirements.

Woodland grants

Various grants are available from governments and agencies to manage woodland. The grants available from the Forestry Commission under the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) require the submission of a woodland management plan that meets the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS) benchmark standard. We can help you to draw up a plan that will satisfy EWGS requirements.

We can also advise you about grants in general, help you to apply for them and liaise with the relevant authorities and agencies where necessary. In some instances, it may be possible to obtain a grant under the EWGS to draw up a woodland management plan.

Works and implementation

As well as planning and advising, we carry out the practical implementation of works:

  • tree felling,
  • thinning and coppicing,
  • invasive weed clearance, and
  • wildlife habitat creation.

We have worked on a wide variety of arboricultural projects for private land owners and public bodies and we are a trusted partner of Natural England, Environment Agency, Jersey States, Welsh Government and JNCC among others.

Woodland assets

A managed woodland can realise a wide range of benefits to the owner and the community at large, including:

  • Halt the loss of biodiversity and continue to reverse previous losses through targeted actions for species and habitats.
  • Harvesting of wood for rural crafts, firewood, etc.
  • Spaces for leisure and relaxation.
  • Educational applications – e.g Forest Schools.


Talk to us about your tree management requirements

Whether you are an owner of small piece of private woodland, or a large scale organisation with vast areas of land to manage, Thomson’s experts can help with all your surveying, tree health monitoring and tree work scheduling. Talk to us about all things related to tree management, get in touch today.

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