About Trees – Kent Tree Surgeons


Case study portfolio

CAse study portfolio

Case Study No. 1 Dead elm removal

Case Study: Dead roadside elm Tree Removal Project for The Duchy of Cornwall

In November 2023, a row of dead elm trees was identified along Selling Road, situated north of the M2 motorway in Kent, near a field entrance. The condition of these trees posed potential hazards to public safety and required prompt removal. It was noted that EPG, an ecology company, recommended their removal, emphasising the importance of preserving parts of the hedge row during the process.


1. Location and Surroundings: The trees were located in close proximity to Selling Road, with limited space for maneuvering equipment. Additionally, the presence of undergrowth necessitated careful planning to avoid disturbance.

2. Traffic Management: Selling Road’s narrow width made traditional lane possession impractical. Therefore, a road closure was essential for ensuring the safety of workers and passing traffic during tree removal operations.

3. Preservation of Hedge Row: It was imperative to minimize disruption to the existing hedge row while felling the dead elm trees. This required specialized equipment and techniques to ensure precise removal.

1. Methodical Tree Removal:The project involved felling the dead elm trees to 1 meter above ground level, with a focus on preserving sections of the hedge row. This was executed using ropes, friction devices, and pulleys designed for tree care, ensuring controlled descent and minimal impact on the surroundings.

2. Traffic Management and Road Closure: Due to the narrow width of Selling Road and the need to avoid disturbing the undergrowth, a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) was deployed for tree removal operations. To ensure safety, a road closure was implemented for the duration of the project, with a comprehensive Traffic Management system in place to divert traffic and alert motorists to the work zone.

3. Compliance with Standards: The project adhered to British Standards 3998 (2010) recommendations for tree work, which stipulate that tree removal may be necessary when support and pruning are insufficient to mitigate risks. By following industry standards, the project ensured the safety of workers and the public while addressing the identified hazards.

The coordinated efforts of the project team resulted in the successful removal of the dead elm trees along Selling Road. By utilising specialised equipment, implementing a robust Traffic Management plan, and prioritising adherence to industry standards, the project achieved its objectives safely and efficiently. The preserved sections of the hedge row maintain the aesthetic and ecological integrity of the surrounding landscape, demonstrating a balanced approach to urban tree management.

The Selling Road tree removal project exemplifies the importance of careful planning, collaboration, and adherence to standards in urban forestry operations. By addressing challenges such as limited space, traffic management, and environmental preservation, the project delivered a solution that prioritised safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship. The Duchy of Cornwall, as the client, benefitted from a comprehensive approach to tree management that ensured the longevity and sustainability of the landscape.

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