South Ascot Primary School

In 2023 Out There Trees Ltd was instructed to carry out expert tree services in Berkshire on behalf of South Ascot Primary School. This work highlights the end to end tree care service provided by OTT from our office support to tree surgery carried out on site.

Instruction was given by South Ascot Primary School to inspect 97 trees and groups of trees at the school and 20 trees and groups of trees at the nursery to ensure that all trees met health and safety standards and to prevent any future nuisance and safety issues. This request resulted in a full professional tree survey produced by Out There Trees Ltd.

The school has a legal duty of care to ensure that the trees on their land are safe and are checked on a regular basis. As qualified arborists we can carry out a tree survey which outlines the features, defects and risks of every tree within a certain area. If any trees are flagged as potential risks then further investigation and inspection can be carried out on those trees individually. The survey generally lists all the features and defects of a tree in a spreadsheet style document and when repeated over time (normally every 2 years) records any patterns and changes in the trees’ health and behaviour.

The school and nursery have over 150 trees throughout, some planted and many indigenous.  The school borders a road which needed to comply with highway regulations for clearance above the road and footpath.

The school grounds also border a footpath with adjacent trees and shrubs managed by Sunninghill Trust in Berkshire, whom Out There Trees Ltd also work with, so tree services were coordinated to address trees overhanging school property to ensure they were made safe over the children’s play area as well benefitting the health of the trees.

The South Ascot Primary School natural environment is dominated by Scots Pines and Silver Birches with some Oaks present.

All arboriculture work recommended was done so in order to maintain or establish acceptable levels of safety, or to maintain or promote the good health of the tree in accordance with British Standard BS3998:2010.

Individual recommendations for each tree or group of trees were outlined with an accompanied urgency timescale to carry our the work. This included potential tree failures which should be addressed due the risk of failure impacting children and teachers. Other trees of serious concern included fused trees and trees with severe lean. Trees of concern located in low risk areas were left but noted for monitoring. Safe trees with minor issues were reduced but left in place in consideration of wildlife and ecology in the area.

Other trees services at this Berkshire school included:

  • Some trees with low hanging canopies in play areas would benefit from being raised to create clearance.
  • Some young trees planted in recent years would benefit from formative pruning.
  • Several trees with varying degrees of rot were identified and marked to be monitored should additional fruiting bodies appear.
  • Tree removal was also required in a limited number of instances.

Using site plans provided by the school from The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead as a basis individual trees and groups of trees were identified and numbered to make tree surgery work more clear.

Using the site plan as a reference an action plan was then created noting work to be carried out on each tree, the timescale, and why the tree work was recommended.

Images of trees recommended for work were also included.  Once the work was agreed with the school Out There Trees Ltd applied for all work to be carried out under existing TPOs with Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead under their tree, wood, and hedgerow protection policies.

To accommodate the school’s calendar and minimise impact work was scheduled during the half term break. To carry out the tree care work in safest possible way two large teams of qualified arborists were deployed to the site during half term with two different types of cherry pickers to provide the safest and quickest access possible. All members of each team were DBS checked as the work was taking place within school grounds.

All initial works noted as requiring urgent attention were carried out within the week of half term with additional work to be carried out in the future as noted in the tree survey action plan.

This main portion of this initial urgent work consisted of

  • Crown lifting
  • Dead wooding
  • Crown reduction
  • Tree felling
  • Formative pruning
  • Hedge trimming and reduction
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