Veteran Tree Management – Heritage Oak Tree, Berkshire

The site

A veteran Oak tree situated in public open space in an area of high-density housing.  The tree had previously been recommended for removal. The Parish Council’s Amenity Committee wished to seek further expert views. Cheshire Woodland’s Principal Consultant Mike Ellison has extensive experience in the management of veteran trees and was a founding member of the ‘Ancient Tree Forum’.

The process

We conducted a tree inspection and risk assessment, using the Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) method. Two Quantified Tree Risk Assessments were carried out. One for whole tree failure and another for branch failure onto an adjacent footpath. Due to there being some uncertainty regarding the effects of recent pruning on the development and distribution of decay in the stem and first-order branches we applied a cautious Probability of Failure. The outcomes of both assessments were within what would ordinarily be considered broadly acceptable limits.

The outcome

We produced a report outlining our findings and proposing future management of the tree. Our management recommendations included the removal of a neighbouring younger oak tree that was causing suppression of the canopy and competing for resources.


We found the tree to be in good health and suitable for retention. Ongoing decay could result in an elevated probability of tree or branch failure, but all of the signs were that the tree was adapting to this degradation by producing structurally adaptive growth where and when it was required, and this is something to be monitored over time but did not require any immediate action.

Cheshire Woodlands use of Quantified Tree Risk Assessment has proved invaluable. It has helped us to retain trees that were condemned by another advisor. They have used measurable data to provide us with a valid tree risk assessment.

Caroline Wild, Taylor Wimpey

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Cheshire Woodlands Limited
9 Lowe Street
Cheshire England
SK11 7NJ
+44 (0) 1625 669 668
Company registration: 8776536
VAT number: 781 236 134