Navigating the world of arboriculture, particularly when it comes to tree reports, can sometimes feel like deciphering a foreign language. Whether you’re a property owner, a developer, or just someone with an interest in the health and management of trees, understanding the terminology used in tree reports is crucial. This article aims to demystify some of the common terms and definitions, making the complex field of tree management more accessible.


Tree Report:
A comprehensive document prepared by a certified arborist that evaluates the health, safety, and condition of one or more trees on a property. Tree reports are often required by local councils for development applications, tree removal permissions, or to assess potential hazards.


A professional trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees. Arborists are also known as tree surgeons. They are the ones who conduct tree assessments and prepare tree reports.


DBH (Diameter at Breast Height):
A standard method of measuring the size of a tree. DBH is the diameter of a tree’s trunk measured at 1.4 meters (4.5 feet) above the ground.


The top part of a tree, including its branches and leaves. The health of a crown is a good indicator of the overall health of the tree.


The layer formed by the crowns of trees and other plants. It can refer to the canopy of a single tree or the collective canopy of a forest or landscape.


Root Protection Area (RPA):
A designated zone around a tree’s roots which must be protected during construction or landscaping to avoid damage to the tree. The RPA is usually determined based on the tree’s DBH.


TPO (Tree Preservation Order):
A legal protection for trees that deems them of significant value to the community or environment. Trees under a TPO cannot be removed, pruned, or damaged without permission from the local council.


LEP (Local Environmental Plan):
A tool used by local governments in Australia to guide planning decisions. LEPs include regulations that protect trees and vegetation within the council area.


DA (Development Application) Tree Report:
A specific type of tree report that is submitted as part of a development application. It assesses the impact of proposed developments on existing trees and outlines measures to protect them.


Risk Assessment:
Part of a tree report that evaluates the potential hazards a tree might pose to people or property due to its condition, such as the likelihood of falling branches or the tree uprooting.


Tree Valuation:
A process used to determine the monetary value of a tree, based on factors like its age, species, condition, and historical or aesthetic significance.


Conservation Plan:
A strategy outlined in a tree report for preserving a tree, especially if it’s of historical, cultural, or ecological importance. It includes recommendations for ongoing care and management.


By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you’ll be better equipped to understand tree reports and effectively communicate with arborists, council officials, and other stakeholders in the care and management of trees.

Whether you’re applying for a tree removal permit, planning a development, or simply taking an interest in the trees around you, this knowledge is invaluable.

In wrapping up our introduction to the essential terminology of tree reports, it’s evident how vital these assessments are in the preservation, management, and care of trees.

Understanding these terms empowers you to make informed decisions regarding the trees within your environment.

If you require expert tree report services or have questions about the trees on your property, Canopy Tree is here to assist.

Our team of certified arborists possesses the expertise to provide comprehensive tree reports, consultations, and solutions tailored to your needs.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Canopy Tree for professional guidance. Contact us today to ensure your trees are evaluated with precision and care.

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