Carry out tree and vegetation management in proximity to underground utilities Legacy

Business Sectors (Suites): Treework
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 28 Feb 2017


This standard is about carrying out tree and vegetation management in proximity to underground utilities i.e. work associated with, or in close proximity to, services and utilities.

The standard includes the planned management of trees and vegetation around the utility, so that the utility can continue to function safely and effectively. This will include the safe preparation and implementation of the required work with due consideration of the associated hazards. Those involved in this activity must be aware of the hazards 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. assess the risks associated with the site and the proposed work
  2. select and implement appropriate working methods, in accordance with the assessed risks
  3. select and use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the work
  4. select, prepare and use the specialist equipment necessary for tree and vegetation management operations
  5. confirm all equipment has been checked and is fit for purpose
  6. ensure that the required signage and guarding controls are in place
  7. re-validate any pre-prepared risk assessments and work instructions
  8. maintain and operate specialist equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's and utility's specified parameters
  9. carry out tree and vegetation management, including pruning the roots, where it is in proximity to underground utilities, in order to ensure a reduction of its impact on utilities
  10. ensure trenches are reinstated using suitable ameliorated backfill
  11. carry out work to the specification
  12. ensure the site is left in a condition which meets environmental requirements, in accordance with the specification
  13. maintain records to meet the requirements of the utility and the relevant legislation
  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 risks posed by trees and vegetation from either their bio-mechanical condition and/or their proximity to the 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. the use of appropriate safety equipment specific to the utility in question and the tools for operation
  9. the legal requirements for checking equipment
  10. the potential hazards and risks associated with working in close proximity to the utility, including any associated structures and safety distances and the use of equipment
  11. the purpose of utility-specific safety documents
  12. the implications of different tree species, their condition and the time of year when planning root pruning operations and how these will affect the work
  13. the basic principles of tree biology and the implications of root reduction on different tree species
  14. the importance of maximum root retention and careful backfilling
  15. the importance of identifying, demarcating and maintaining safe work zones, and the appropriate routing of plant, tools and equipment
  16. the potential impact of your work on the environment and how this can be minimised
  17. your responsibilities under relevant environmental, health and safety legislation and codes of practice


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



utility; vegetation; underground services