BS5837 Tree Survey Information

British Standard BS5837 (2005) ‘Trees in Relation to Construction – Recommendations’ *

* This British Standard is now removed and is superseded by the 4th Edition BS5837 : 2012‘Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction – Recommendations’.

In relation to the old document, for BS5837:2005 – where trees are located within the site boundary, or on the adjacent land i.e. trees within impacting distance of the site (15m distance from site boundary is typically used), a BS5837 compliant Tree Assessment is required: Indigo Surveys can outline the site specific requirements of your site.

Indigo Surveys produce a Tree Survey Schedule to guide and accompany a Tree Constraints Plan and identify the trees. Each tree/group of trees is given a unique tree reference number and basic annotations of the survey data.

For each tree the following data is recorded:

  1. Reference Number of the tree or tree group of trees (to be annotated on the Tree Constraints Plan);
  2. Tree Species by common and/or scientific name (where possible);
  3. Height in metres (estimate);
  4. Stem Diameter in millimetres [measured 1.5m above ground level for a single stemmed tree and at ground level for a multiple stemmed tree];
  5. Crown Spread in metres the north, south, east and west crown radii (to be annotated on the Tree Constraints Plan);
  6. Age Class: young, middle-aged, mature, over-mature, veteran;
  7. Physiological and Structural Condition of the tree (good, fair, poor, dead and observational notes);
  8. Preliminary Management Recommendations (may include further more detailed investigations);
  9. An assessment of the Safe Useful Remaining Contribution of the tree in years (< 10, 10-20, 20-40 and > 40); and
  10. BS5837 Retention Category: A ‘High Quality’, B ‘Moderate Quality’, C ‘Low Quality’ and R ‘Poor Quality’ – based on the Cascade Chart for Tree Quality Assessment (Table 1 of BS5837:2005).

Further information relating to our development site based tree consultancy can be found by linking to our BS5837 Tree Surveys and BS5837 Tree Reports website sections. We are contactable to discuss any of your based Arboricultural Consultancy queries on 0333 123 7080 or email to

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