An arborist report is a comprehensive document prepared by a certified arborist that provides detailed information about the health, condition, and management recommendations for trees. This report is often required by local authorities for planning applications, especially when trees are present on a development site.

Arborist reports are an integral part of tree surgery, a field that focuses on the health and safety of trees. They provide valuable insights into the state of trees, their potential risks, and the necessary measures to maintain or improve their health. The following sections will delve into the various aspects of an arborist report, explaining each in detail.

Components of an Arborist Report

An arborist report typically consists of several key components. These include the arborist’s details, tree identification and location, tree health and condition, tree risk assessment, recommendations, and appendices.

Each component serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall understanding of the tree’s status and the recommended management strategies. Let’s explore each of these components in detail.

Arborist’s Details

The report begins with the details of the arborist who has prepared the report. This includes their name, qualifications, and contact information. It serves to establish the arborist’s credibility and provides a point of contact for any queries about the report.

It’s important to note that arborist reports should only be prepared by certified arborists. These are professionals who have undergone extensive training and are certified by recognized bodies such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Tree Identification and Location

This section of the report provides details about the tree or trees in question. It includes the species of the tree, its age, size, and precise location. This information is crucial as it helps in understanding the tree’s specific needs and potential impact on its surroundings.

Tree identification is not just about naming the species. It also involves understanding the tree’s characteristics, such as its typical lifespan, growth rate, and susceptibility to diseases. This information aids in assessing the tree’s health and planning appropriate management strategies.

Tree Health and Condition

This is perhaps the most critical part of the arborist report. It involves a thorough examination of the tree to assess its health and overall condition. This includes inspecting the tree’s roots, trunk, branches, leaves, and any signs of disease or pest infestation.

The health and condition of a tree can be influenced by various factors, including environmental conditions, diseases, pests, and physical damage. An arborist uses their expertise to identify any issues and determine the overall health of the tree.

Tree Risk Assessment

Another crucial component of an arborist report is the tree risk assessment. This involves evaluating the potential risks associated with the tree. These could include the risk of the tree falling, branches breaking, or the tree causing damage to nearby structures.

The risk assessment is not just about identifying risks. It also involves determining the severity of these risks and recommending measures to mitigate them. This could involve pruning the tree, installing support structures, or in some cases, recommending tree removal.


The recommendations section of the arborist report outlines the steps that should be taken to manage the tree. These recommendations are based on the findings of the tree health assessment and risk assessment.

Recommendations can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the tree. They could include regular pruning, treatment for diseases or pests, installation of support structures, or even tree removal in some cases.


The appendices of an arborist report include any additional information that supports the findings of the report. This could include photographs of the tree, maps showing the tree’s location, or documents detailing the arborist’s qualifications.

Appendices serve to provide further evidence and context for the information presented in the report. They can be particularly useful in cases where the report’s findings are disputed or require further clarification.

Importance of an Arborist Report

An arborist report is not just a document; it’s a crucial tool in tree management. It provides valuable insights into the health and condition of trees, identifies potential risks, and outlines the necessary measures to manage these risks.

Arborist reports are often required by local authorities for planning applications, especially when trees are present on a development site. They help ensure that trees are properly managed and protected, contributing to the overall health and sustainability of our urban forests.


In conclusion, an arborist report is a comprehensive document that provides detailed information about the health, condition, and management recommendations for trees. Prepared by certified arborists, these reports play a crucial role in tree surgery and urban forest management.

Whether you’re a tree owner, a developer, or a local authority, understanding an arborist report can help you make informed decisions about tree management, contributing to the health and sustainability of our urban forests.