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As you consider developing a site with trees or buildings on it, it is important to establish a root protection area (RPA). Prior to getting a planning permit for your site, you may well require a root protection area. If you are looking into maximising construction on a limited area of land, this is a key process to have conducted. Remember, trees are a material consideration in the planning of site development or building changes all over the UK.

Of course, this is a task that requires the expertise of qualified personnel. You will need an arborist who can help by calculating root protection area. Indigo Surveys Ltd has a team of arboriculturists who are qualified and knowledgeable in this field. We provide quality services to help you ensure the safety of trees on any site you are developing.

Our specialists are available and operational from Chester, Birmingham and London. With our services administered from these locations, we can reach many clients in towns and cities throughout the UK.

What is a Root Protection Area?

We appreciate that there are many property owners, managers and developers who do not have a clear picture of exactly what this process entails. You may also have questions about tree root protection area calculation and why it is necessary. We have specialists at Indigo Surveys who can explain this process in clear and helpful terms.

In simple terms, a root protection area is the minimum area around a tree which can permit enough rooting volume to support the growth and survival of a tree. At this point, the protection of the tree roots and soil structure is considered as a priority. The main aim is to maintain the tree’s viability.

This is an activity that comes under the BS5837:2005 guidelines, which therefore makes it mandatory to have the activity done before making planning applications for many sites. The calculation is done to avoid the damage of root systems immediately under and just beyond the crown of a tree.

Tree Root Protection Area Calculation

As per the BS5837:2005 guidelines, our arborists at Indigo Surveys calculate the bs5837 root protection area (RPA) by multiplying the tree’s diameter breast height (DBH) in meters by 12. Following that, a simple circle around the centre point of the tree trunk is drawn with a maximum RPA of 15m radius being assumed.

The activities above need to be done with precise accuracy and it is useful to have a trained specialist complete them. There is also the need to factor in the type of trees. Trees with multiple stems, for instance, need an RPA that follows a complex set of rules. Our professionals here at Indigo Surveys are here to assist in calculating root protection area for you, whatever trees are present on your site. Please reach us today for a free cost quotation.

There are times when the root protection area is estimated manually. This is an activity that is somewhat complicated when compared to calculating the bs5837 root protection area using standard formulas. It requires a well-versed arborist. Our specialist arborists at Indigo Surveys are highly experienced and have the skills to complete this task and deliver a sound report. We can even do further ground investigations. Our specialists will visit your site and dig small test pits to look for and inspect roots and other important factors to consider. Should you have a restricted site, or one with large trees and important specimens, manual root protection area calculation is the ideal option.

After establishing your bs5837 root protection area, Indigo Surveys arborists provide a detailed Arboricultural Method Statement. This will help you to know how to protect trees during the construction of buildings, roads and even service trenches. When fencing off an area around the retained tree to exclude construction activities, the RPA is very useful. This is the area known as the Construction Exclusion Zone (CEZ) and is established after a root protection area.

Why are Indigo Surveys the Ideal Specialists for Tree Root Protection Area Services?

Indigo Surveys have becomes trusted arboriculturists in the UK. Our client base includes:

  • architects
  • developers
  • engineers
  • planning consultants, and many others.

On top of our expertise and experience, we are also very committed to our clients. We deliver swift, efficient and quality services as we offer any RPA work. This enhances our value for money through the prioritisation of our customers. Also, despite offering top quality services, we have affordable charges. Over the years, we have worked with varying budgets from many clients. Our tailored services are meant to suit each and every one of our client’s needs.

If you wish to learn more about the bs5837 root protection area services that we offer at Indigo Surveys, please contact us today. You can make enquiries or request a quotation. Call us on 0333 123 7080 to speak to one of our friendly staff. You can also email us at and we’ll respond as soon as possible. You should always get the best guidance when calculating your root protection area. Let our professionals at Indigo Surveys assist you today.

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R Stanway

“I got a phone call on the day I enquired about your services. It was very efficient and Andrew explained exactly how things would unfold. The arrangement had to be made via my estate agents as I was in the process of purchasing a property. Indigo Surveys agreed to liaise with my estate agent which made life much easier for me. Although a tree survey is a costly exercise, Indigo were out of 4 companies I contacted, the cheapest and most efficient. All arrangements were clearly outlined to me with dates and times, no let downs, and no changing of appointments.”

Claire Williams

“Visu Verum have retained Indigo Surveys to undertake measured surveys and tree services for various projects over the last 5 years and have always found the price, quality and customer service to be excellent. Andrew Turnbull is exceptionally helpful, easy to contact and always responds to queries in a timely manner.”

Jane Shaw

Senior Design Manager
“I have worked with Indigo on many school projects. Many ran at the same time and had very short pre-construction programmes. Indigo were proactive and able to meet the challenging programmes, which enabled us to meet all submission dates for approval. We were kept aware of all ecology/arboricultural issues from the outset.”

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