MWA Arboriculture uses Bluesky National Tree Map for Tree Condition Surveys


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 Leicestershire, UK, 29 September 2021 – Arboricultural consultancy MWA Arboriculture is using data from the National Tree Map, the only map that details the location and attributes of more than 300 million trees, to inform tree condition surveys. Created by aerial mapping company Bluesky, the data is used to undertake initial desktop assessments of potential risk, to prioritise more detailed survey work and target resources more effectively. 


MWA also uses the Bluesky data to help prepare quotations for future survey work, reducing the need for costly and timely site visits. Derived from high-resolution aerial photography and height data, the Bluesky National Tree Map accurately records the location, height and crown spread for trees over 3 metres in height. 


“Tree owners, without exception, have a legal duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure the safe condition of their trees,” commented Andy Clark, Arboricultural Consultant at MWA. “For owners with large estates or disperse land holdings, understanding the risk posed by individual trees can be an expensive and time-consuming task – particularly if the client’s tree-stock holding reaches into the hundreds or thousands.” 


“Using the Bluesky National Tree Map data we have created a workflow that efficiently assesses properties and estates of all sizes through the application of tree risk zoning, in keeping with the associated HSE recommendations for managing the risks associated with trees,” he continued. “By desktop mapping to identify the largest trees in relation to roads, footpaths or buildings, for example, we can assist the client to ensure that resources and expenditure are correctly prioritised above that of lower-risk trees in low-risk zones. The mapping also helps to demonstrate a conclusive paper-trail for future health and safety audits, rather than simply working on guesswork, as is often the case.”   


MWA is an independent consultancy providing expert advice and support on the management of trees to private, commercial and public sector clients across the UK. With the latest technology in tree assessment, digital surveying, mapping and reporting, MWA offers a range of consultancy and surveying services including risk and asset management, trees and development, subsidence surveys, insurance and mitigation services and expert witness.  


Using the Bluesky data, in combination with Geographical Information System (GIS) software and other map layers, MWA undertakes initial assessments of sites. This analysis can range from simply counting the number of trees to prepare a quotation for future survey work, right through to a preliminary assessment of risk posed by individual trees in relation to surrounding infrastructure or activity. 


About Bluesky and the National Tree Map 


Bluesky’s National Tree Map is created using innovative algorithms and image processing techniques in combination with the most up to date and detailed aerial photography. In addition to the three vector map layers; Crown Polygons, Idealised Crowns and Height Points, the Bluesky National Tree Map also includes an attribute table including unique identification for each crown feature, height attributes and area calculations. The data is available in a range of formats for use in GIS, CAD and online mapping tools. 


Bluesky International is the leading aerial survey and geographic data company in the UK producing and maintaining seamless digital aerial photography and height data on a national scale in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Bluesky also undertakes bespoke surveys, including LiDAR, for a range of public and private sector clients.  


Bluesky International operates a range of aircraft and sensors including three Ultracam Eagle Mark 3s, a CityMapper which allows the simultaneous collection of vertical and oblique imagery as well as LiDAR data, and a Galaxy LiDAR which is mounted with a thermal sensor and survey grade camera. These systems put Bluesky International in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost-effective geospatial solutions.  


As well as being an established and respected aerial survey company Bluesky International is also highly innovative and continually strives to develop new products and services by embracing new technology and methods. This has resulted in the development of some unique products such as the National Tree Map (NTM).  


These datasets underpin long term contracts with local and central governments and many major blue-chip companies from a range of market sectors including financial services, utilities, telecoms, web portals, construction and environment.  Bluesky International has offices in the UK, US, Republic of Ireland and a dedicated production centre in India.   


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