Survey trees and vegetation adjacent to above-ground utilities to identify required management Legacy

Business Sectors (Suites): Treework
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 28 Feb 2016


This standard is about surveying trees and vegetation adjacent to above-ground utilities to identify required management, i.e. looking at treework associated with or in close proximity to services and utilities, including overhead utilities.

The standard includes the planned management of trees and vegetation around the utility so it can continue to function safely and effectively. This will include the safe preparation and surveying of work sites, including the planning of the required work with due consideration for the associated hazards. Those involved in this work must be aware of the hazards and risks associated with utility work, particularly electrical hazards.

When working with machinery you need to be appropriately trained, and hold current certification where required, in line with relevant legislation.

Your work must conform to all relevant legislation and codes of practice when carrying out this work.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. undertake a hazard and risk assessment of the site, prior to carrying out the vegetation survey, and implement suitable control measures in line with relevant legislation and industry standards
  2. select and implement appropriate working methods, in accordance with the assessed risks
  3. select and use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  4. select, prepare and use the appropriate tools and equipment, safely and effectively
  5. confirm all equipment has been checked and is fit for purpose
  6. ensure that required signage and controls are in place
  7. ensure any procedures for lone working are in place
  8. survey the site, identifying the required tree and vegetation management necessary for the continued safe and effective use of the above-ground utility
  9. identify the types of utility-specific apparatus and the associated safety zones likely to interfere with operations
  10. identify the specialist equipment required for tree and vegetation management operations adjacent to above-ground utilities and structures
  11. specify the resources necessary to achieve the continued safe and effective use of the utility, in accordance with relevant legislation and industry standards
  12. clearly identify where specialised workers, engaged by the utility, must be used
  13. document and record survey details appropriate to the utility and for the intended use of the data recorded
  14. maintain the health and safety of yourself and others at all times, in accordance with relevant legislation

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how to identify hazards and assess risks
  2. how to interpret risk assessments
  3. the selection, use and care of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  4. emergency planning and procedures relevant to the site
  5. the level of risk posed by trees and vegetation from either its bio-mechanical condition and/or proximity to the above-ground utility
  6. how to evaluate the tree for hazards and the implications of the hazards identified
  7. the likely impact of the proposed utility work on trees and vegetation
  8. how to select, prepare and use appropriate tools and equipment, safely and effectively in line with the manufacturer's recommendations
  9. the legal requirements for checking equipment
  10. the optimum aesthetic tree or vegetation appearance when undertaking works adjacent to utilities and structures
  11. the purpose of utility-specific safety documents
  12. the implications of different tree species, their condition and the time of year, when planning pruning operations and how these will affect the work
  13. the principles of tree biology and the implications of crown reduction and thinning intensity to different tree species
  14. the importance of identifying safe work zones and appropriate routing of plant, tools and equipment
  15. your responsibilities under relevant environmental and health and safety legislation and codes of practice


Working/surveying in the following situations:

  • sites with trees adjacent to utilities
  • trees adjacent to utility structures

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

28 Feb 2021





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations


SOC Code



survey; vegetation; utility