Following the recent bad weather, schools are reminded to note the content of the H&S bulletin which was issued last year relating to tree inspections. During wet/snow/windy conditions, it is possible that trees could become destabilased as a result of pre-existing disease or water logging in the rooting area. In particular, conifer trees may be more susceptible due to the prevalence of a full and foliated canopy that presents a “sail area” throughout the year. This allows greater forces to be exerted upon the root plate which if waterlogged may be at higher risk of failure. Schools should therefore be vigilant for abnormal signs, signs of ground cracking in the rooting area or abnormal movement of the stem may suggest a problem. Schools should review any outdoor activities planned during these times. If problems are suspected, then specialist advice should be sought.
It is important that schools action any outstanding recommendations from their tree survey report. Trees should be maintained in a condition which allows easy inspection by the tree specialist.