BS5837 Tree Survey 2012: Implications From Latest Revisions

BS5837 tree survey 2012 has been in place for a few years now and replaced the older BS5837 2005 guidelines. While there are many companies who have successfully complied with planning permissions and tree management plans prior to these changes, it is important for developers to understand the changes that have happened since then.

Many professions would benefit from understanding the new guidelines. The likes of architects and planners may be developing concepts based on old guidelines. The 2012 guidelines, however, change the way in which root protection area (RPA) calculations are performed, as well as the grading of certain trees. In the latter case, all 'veteran' trees are listed as category A trees (high quality) and there have been changes that open the potential for local planning authorities to ask developers to retain category C trees (low quality). Previously, such trees could be felled – but the latest guidelines give the indication to local planning authorities that such trees should be retained. RPA calculations have also become more complex and require more expert calculations. This is to ensure that corners aren't cut that would be detrimental to the health of a tree or that could cause subsidence problems for homeowners later down the line. However, you needn't worry about any of these changes if you obtain the services of an expert arborist to help perform a BS5837 tree survey and RPA calculations. You just need to make sure to find an arborist that produces their tree survey and calculations to the latest guidelines.

Thankfully, we do just that at Braemar Arboriculture Limited. Our team of experts has been working with the BS5837 guidelines for over 13 years and we were quick to update ourselves when the latest BS5837 tree survey 2012 guidelines came about. To find out more about how we can help, visit us at Or if you'd like to chat to our helpful support team, you can email