An arborist report is a document which gives information about the health of a tree in relation to its environment. They are often required when carrying out construction, development and management work on a piece of land.

Trees are a valuable asset to both our gardens and our health – they provide us with fresh air, shade, fruit and their natural beauty. It is important to take care of them and ensure that they are properly protected. A qualified, level 5 tree surgeon is the best person to assess their health and offer advice on how to maintain them.

There are a range of reasons to get an arborist report, from deciding whether or not a tree should be removed to protecting trees throughout development projects. This article will explain the process of getting one.


tree removalWhen to get an arborist report

There are several reasons why you may require the document. The most common ones are:

  • Starting work on a development, maintenance or construction project (regardless of whether it’s a residential or commercial undertaking)
  • Intending to work on a heritage-listed specimen or area
  • Intending to prune or remove a tree
  • Concern about the health of a tree and whether or not it is at risk of damaging property and/or people


It is important to get a legitimate document as not doing so could get you into trouble. Performing tree work without council approval could lead to fines and project delays. Doing work without the approval of a qualified tree surgeon could be dangerous and lead to a loss of unique and valuable trees, as well as cause harm to local ecosystems (by spreading weeds and disease, causing a loss of diversity and wildlife etc.).


Information they offer

An arborist report states information about the health of trees, provides recommendations and conclusions about a site’s and a tree’s state, and can legally hold up in court. The document can be used by authorities such as developers, councils and architects. Information they provide includes:

  • Who the client is
  • The purpose of the document
  • Site details and specifics, including data about soil, landscape, human intervention effects, structures and weather exposure
  • Tree surgeon’s details
  • Methodology used in creating the document
  • Tables stating tree species, height, age, lifespan estimate and health condition
  • Any previous or current disease/pest issues
  • Photo and test results as evidence
  • Recommendations for minimizing damage through preventative means
  • Reasoning and references for why recommendations have been made

This is a great deal of important information, and as such it should be carried out by a qualified professional. This ensures that you don’t end up with a misleading or potentially harmful document.


Finding a professional

A tree surgeon is someone who specialises in tree work. A good professional should be knowledgeable, experienced and capable of performing tree inspections, pruning and removal work and preparing an arborist report.

To get the most out of your service provider, ensure that you are working with a qualified level 5 practitioner, as these are the only ones qualified to create an arborist report. They should possess a Diploma of Agriculture. Ideally enlist the help of someone who has plenty of experience and is registered with their industry’s authority body.



An arborist report is a required document in property development, maintenance and construction projects. Obtaining one can reduce the duration of your project by minimising delays. They also help you avoid damage to people or property by recognising and dealing with trees which are a hazard. This in turn can help to boost your property’s value and make it safer.