About Trees Ltd – Kent Tree Surgeon


Case study portfolio

CAse study portfolio

Case Study No.4 Pruning to KCC Highways spec.

Crown Lifting Initiative for Roadside Trees in Accordance with KCC Highways Standards

A sophisticated arboricultural initiative was conducted to address the necessity of maintaining roadside safety and adherence to KCC Highways standards. The project’s objective was the crown lifting of diverse trees situated along a designated roadside boundary. The species involved included Elm, live Sycamore, and Hawthorn trees, each presenting distinct challenges due to their dimensions, locality, and branch conditions.

Project Scope
The endeavour aimed to secure a clearance of 5.2 metres over the carriageway and 2.4 metres over the footpath, with a 0.45-metre setback from the road onto the kerb. This was to ensure the safety of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, whilst preserving the trees’ health and aesthetic appeal.

The primary challenges encountered during this project encompassed:
Limited Road Width: The constrained width of the road precluded the possibility of conducting the work with partial lane possession, necessitating a comprehensive road closure.

Variety of Tree Species: The presence of diverse tree species demanded customised approaches to crown lifting, taking into account each species’ growth habits and branch resilience.

Public Safety: Ensuring the wellbeing of both the public and the workforce during the operation, especially considering the need to work at heights and manage descending debris.

To tackle these challenges, the project adopted a dual-faceted approach: utilising a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) and instituting a thorough traffic management plan.

1. MEWP Utilisation:
– A MEWP was chosen for its adaptability and capability to provide safe access to tree crowns in restricted spaces.
– A qualified IPAF operator, fully insured, was engaged to manoeuvre the MEWP, assuring the highest safety protocols were maintained.
– This method minimised the requirement for manual climbing, diminishing risk and enhancing the efficiency of the crown lifting process.

2. Traffic Management and Road Closure:
– Given the limited width of the road, a decision was made at the planning stage to implement a total road closure. This was crucial for safeguarding both the workforce and the public.
– An exhaustive traffic management plan was formulated, including the acquisition of local Highways permits, devising complete diversion routes, and erecting advance warning signs to notify the public of the impending works.
– The traffic management strategy also encompassed the production and installation of site plans and signage, ensuring transparent communication and minimising disruption to local traffic flow.

The project was successfully concluded, achieving the required clearance levels while preserving the trees’ vitality and ensuring public safety. The employment of a MEWP and the strategic road closure were instrumental in overcoming the inherent challenges of the project, facilitating an efficient and safe completion of the tasks.

 Lessons Learned
The project underscored the significance of meticulous planning and the necessity for specialised equipment such as MEWPs in the management of urban trees adjacent to busy thoroughfares. It also highlighted the importance of clear communication with the public and local authorities, particularly in managing expectations and minimising disturbances during such undertakings.

This case study exemplifies the effective integration of contemporary arboricultural techniques with strategic traffic management to navigate the complexities of tree maintenance in urban environments. The initiative serves as a benchmark for similar future projects, emphasising safety, efficacy, and community engagement.

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