Risk Assessing the Impact of Falling Trees


  • Trees


  • Software
The Problem

Councils lack understanding of tree's impact

How do councils fully understand what impact a falling tree would have on the highway network?

Which councils can say they appreciate the impact a falling tree would have? Although they understand the importance of knowing the health of its trees, how often they require maintenance, if they are obscuring essential highway signage etc, the impact, should one fall, is arguably more important. Councils would ideally understand the impact a falling tree would have, should it fall, in order to manage that risk.

Our Approach

Efficient analysis for risk-based tree management

Data held in Tree SMART to manage ‘falling tree’ risk, can be analysed at the click of a button.

The data on each tree asset, in each inspection area, is held in Tree SMART. The species, location and height of the tree is among the data stored, which is collected and uploaded during routine inspections.In order to maximise this data for risk assessment purposes, additional information was required to fully understand the potential impact, if a tree or part of a tree were to fall. Polygons in the inspection areas are interrogated to establish the location of assets, which could be affected, including, roads, footways, railways, or buildings. The calculations of tree size and height, along with the geographical data, was then brought together into the software, to establish what may be impacted. Having access to this knowledge can inform any tree care decisions, by adopting a risk-based approach to tree maintenance.

The Result

Councils optimise tree management with data

Councils have map-based data to inform their tree programme.

Councils can now use the extensive data stored in Tree SMART, to assess risk and manage their tree care programmes. Arborists and office-based staff can now view what a tree might strike, should it fall, at the simple press of a button. In addition, risk modelling and insight into the impact of a falling tree is a demonstration of the management of such highway assets and assists with evidence for DfT incentive funding.


Automating the correlation between geospatial data and tree information improves the risk-based management of highway tree stock.

Doug Maxted, Technical Strategy Manager, KaarbonTech,

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