Leeds City Council has a statutory duty to ensure that trees under its control are maintained in such a way that their condition or location does not pose an unreasonable risk to people or property. This legal responsibility is taken extremely seriously and, as such tree work is prioritised to ensure that budgets are managed effectively and that identified risks are mitigated within acceptable timescales.
Parks & Countryside has adopted an inspection and risk assessment approach based on allocating a category to each tree assessed which defines the timescale that work needs to be carried out. This in turn enables priorities to be determined in allocating resources to address issues identified via inspection. Each category is summarised in the following table:
Category Designation Description
1 Emergency Work to be completed within 24 hours
2 Urgent Work to be completed within 7 working days
3a Developing Hazard Not safe to leave for longer than 3 months – completion date given by Inspector
3b Developing Hazard Not safe to leave for longer than 12 months – assign calendar quarter completion date e.g. Winter 2012
4 Non Hazardous No hazard identified, review periodically.
The Tree Priority Category System prioritises tree risk management and is provided to all clients and used to prioritise all Parks & Countryside and Highways work. Category 4 is assigned to extremely low risk situations and will include situations where trees cast shade or disrupt TV reception or satellite signals. Pruning trees to alleviate these problems is not prioritised unless there are exceptional circumstances.