A Complete Guide to Getting an Arborist Report


Getting an arborist report can provide you with a wealth of important information about the wellbeing of the trees or shrubs on your property. The documents are generally needed when doing construction and management work on an area.

Not only do trees contribute a great deal of aesthetic value to our gardens, but they also give us shade and beautiful, clean air. It is crucial to take proper care of your trees in order to continue to reap their many benefits. Make sure you enlist the help of a qualified level 5 professional, before getting an arborist report. A professional can also give you information on how to look after them.

There are many reasons you might need the document, whether it’s to determine if a tree needs to be cut down or to figure out how to best protect a tree during a construction project. Read ahead to learn how to acquire one.

When to get an arborist report

tree removal

Some of the most common reasons to request the document are:

  • Undertaking commercial or residential development, construction or maintenance work
  • Planning to cut down a tree or any of its branches
  • Worried about a tree’s health
  • Concerned that a tree may cause damage to people or property
  • Planning on working at a heritage-listed site or on a protected tree

It’s crucial that the arborist report is a genuine one, as false ones could land you in legal trouble. Additionally, undertaking work on a tree when you don’t have the approval of the council could result in project delays and monetary fines. Not using a qualified professional could also lead to the damage and/or loss of precious specimen and cause harm to the environment (through the spread of weeds and disease, which may affect wildlife and plants).

Data the document provides

An arborist report shares data related to tree health and provides recommendations about how to move forward with regards to a tree and the site. It is a legal document which can be used in court and by authorities including architects, developers and local councils.

The main information they include is:

  • Client identification
  • Tree surgeon identification
  • Reason for the document
  • Details about the site, such as landscape, weather, structure, soil and human intervention data
  • Which methodology was used
  • Specimen type, age, lifespan, health condition and height
  • Prior or existing disease or pest concerns
  • Photo and/or test result evidence
  • Advice for preventing or minimising harm to trees and/or property
  • Reasons for why this advice was chosen

This data is all highly important, which means that it should be provided by a qualified level 5 tree surgeon. False or misleading documents could cause more harm than good.

Selecting a tree surgeon


When choosing a professional to work with, you want to choose someone who is qualified, trained and experienced at inspecting trees and creating an arborist report. Ensure that the person you select has a Diploma of Agriculture and is level 5 certified; any less won’t be qualified to draft the document. The greater the number of years’ experience, the better. Try to find someone who is industry registered. Use word of mouth or online recommendations to find the best fit.


Whether you’re developing, constructing or maintaining a site with trees on it, you’ll need an arborist report. These can help speed up the process of your project by helping to avoid delays. They can also assist in avoiding harm to property and/or people by managing trees which pose a safety hazard. This can improve the value and safety of your property.