Tree Risk News

  • 2023-01-19 9:58 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    We know from pedestrian data, the centre of built-up areas have a Likelihood of Occupancy that's so high, on average more than one person is exposed to the risk.

    Occupancy is Very High.

    Tree Risk Target People - Very High Occupancy
    More than one person exposed to the risk

    We also know from traffic data, the busiest roads have a Likelihood of Occupancy that's so high, on average more than one vehicle is exposed to the risk.

    Occupancy is Very High.

    Tree Risk Target Vehicle - Very High Occupancy
    More than one vehicle exposed to the risk

    Where we have busy roads next to busy footpaths in towns and cities, we know the combined occupancy of people AND traffic is so high, on average more than one person AND one vehicle is exposed to the risk.

    Occupancy is Very High.


    More than one person AND more than one vehicle exposed to the risk

    We know other tree risk assessment systems systematically undervalue Very High Occupancy. From the training we’ve delivered, we also know tree risk assessors have been poorly trained to recognise both Very High and High Occupancy.

    What all this means is unless you’re using VALID, and have had Likelihood of Occupancy training (it’s really easy once you're calibrated), you’ll be undervaluing the occupancy where it matters most.

    If you're undervaluing the occupancy, you'll be undervaluing the risk.

    You’ll be undervaluing the risk by at least a whopping factor of x10 or x100.

    A 1:1M risk might be as high as 1:10K.

    A Low Risk might be a High Risk.

  • 2022-10-02 10:45 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    If you've heard of Daniel Kahneman, you'll likely have read his excellent Thinking Fast & Slow, where he shares his Nobel Prize winning work into behavioural economics. All that fascinating stuff about how ingrained biases often have reasonably foreseeable impacts on our decision making.

    His most recent interest has been a collaboration with Oliver Sibony and Cass Sunstein, exploring the role of 'Noise' in decision making.

    Noise is the significant variability in decisions you get where there shouldn't be any. Such as when Doctors diagnose disease, or when Judges sentence criminals.

    Or when Arborists make tree risk assessment decisions.

    Earlier this year, More or Less' Tim Harford had a short chat with Daniel Kahneman about how to reduce Noise by practising Decision Hygiene.

    https://validtreerisk.help/Noise

    If you want to dive into the Decision Hygiene part, it starts at 5.50.

    What was eye-opening about this discussion into the benefits of practising Decision Hygiene is that it's embedded in VALID.

    Arborists' tree risk assessments are notoriously noisy. Ask 10 Arborists to risk assess a tree and you'll likely get 12 very different decisions.

    One of VALID's benefits is we've designed it to reduce this Noise. When it comes to Occupancy and Consequences, consistent and good decision making is so 'quiet' you don't need to be an Arborist to do it well.

    In tree risk assessments, we get most Noise with Likelihood of Failure decisions.

    When you make your Likelihood of Failure decision in VALID, you're guided to evaluate all the likelihood of failure attributes, independently of each other, before you make a decision.

    Tree Risk Assessment - Likelihood of Failure

    This VALID approach to Likelihood of Failure decision making is what Daniel Kahneman is calling Decision Hygiene.

  • 2022-08-13 8:56 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    Whilst rummaging through some of the UK's dusty Risk & Regulation Advisory Council archives, we strayed across 'A Worrier's Guide to Risk'. David Spiegelhalter (Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge) put it together for them in the noughties.

    It's a great guide to thinking about risk, some of which applies to trees, on one side of paper - our favourite length for a subject.

    A Worrier's Guide to Risk | David Spiegelhalter

  • 2022-06-09 10:39 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    This is the one-side-of-paper Summary of our Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategies.

    The history
    We were first asked to put this together by the Department of State Growth, Tasmanian Government, when they were adopting VALID. It's role was to explain what the Strategy is all about to the departments strategic decision makers. The Summary proved such a useful communication tool, it found its way into the Government Agency template, and we've released it for general use.

    How to use the Strategy Summary
    It works at two levels. If you're a Duty Holder, you can grasp the complete Strategy within the time it takes to take a few sips of tea or coffee. Similarly, if you're an Arborist you can quickly catch the eye of a busy potential client and add value to your service.

    Active Assessment - Every 5 years?
    We think a 5 yearly Active Assessment frequency in Zones of High Confluence is reasonable, proportionate, and reasonably practicable. It's what many Duty Holders are adopting. Here, there's strength in numbers singing from the same hymn sheet if a risk is realised and a claim or enforcement action is being threatened. However, this is a Duty Holders decision. If they have a lower 'risk appetite' and are prepared to spend more money, we don't have a problem with a shorter frequency of Active Assessment.  Just edit the PDF or Word Template.

    Tree Risk Management Strategy | Policy & Plan

    PDF
    Strategy Summary v9.0.pdf

  • 2022-06-08 9:49 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    We have several free Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategy templates that we've released under a creative commons licence.

    You can read all about them on our Risk Management page, and download them as pdf files.

    We're happy to share them with you as Word Template .dotx files as well, which makes it easier to customise the few sections that you need to. We've included the fonts that you might not have.

    The is the version for a Homeowner.  It's the simplest with a Policy and management by Passive Assessment; which is keeping an eye out for Obvious Tree Risk Features you can't help but notice.

    Tree Risk Management | Policy & Plan - Homeowner

    PDF
    Homeowner TRBM Strategy v9.0.pdf

    WORD TEMPLATE
    Homeowner TRBM Strategy v9.0.dotx

    Here are the main fonts used in the Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategies.

    Museo 700
    Source Sans Pro

    Georgia is the body text and that should already be on your computer.

  • 2022-06-08 9:38 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    We have several free Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategy templates that we've released under a creative commons licence.

    You can read all about them on our Risk Management page, and download them as pdf files.

    We're happy to share them with you as Word Template .dotx files as well, which makes it easier to customise the few sections that you need to. We've included the fonts that you might not have.

    The is the version for a School, College, or University.  It's similar to the Landowner one, where the Duty Holder has no trained Arborists as staff.

    Tree Risk Management | Policy & Plan - School, College, or University

    PDF
    School TRBM Strategy v9.0.pdf

    WORD TEMPLATE
    School TRBM Strategy v9.0.dotx

    Here are the main fonts used in the Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategies.

    Museo 700
    Source Sans Pro

    Georgia is the body text and that should already be on your computer.

  • 2022-06-08 8:50 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    We have several free Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategy templates that we've released under a creative commons licence.

    You can read all about them on our Risk Management page, and download them as pdf files.

    We're happy to share them with you as Word Template .dotx files as well, which makes it easier to customise the few sections that you need to.  We've included the fonts that you might not have.

    The is the Landowner version.  The main differences between this and the Government Agency one is there aren't voting stakeholders that you're looking to help understand.  So there's no Introduction.  There's also no trained Arborist on staff, but this can easily be changed in the Plan.

    Tree Risk Management | Policy & Plan - Landowner

    PDF
    Landowner TRBM Strategy v9.0.pdf

    WORD TEMPLATE
    Landowner TRBM Strategy v9.0.dotx

    Here are the fonts used in the Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategies that you might not have installed.

    Museo 700
    Source Sans Pro

    Georgia is the body text and that should already be on your computer.

  • 2022-06-08 8:32 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    We have several free Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategy templates that we've released under a creative commons licence.

    You can read all about them on our Risk Management page, and download them as pdf files.

    We're happy to share them with you as Word Template .dotx files as well, which makes it easier to customise the few sections that you need to.  We've included the fonts that you might not have.

    The is the Government Agency version, which is the most comprehensive.  It's written with Introduction section to explain what the document is about to 'stakeholders'.  Also, Arborists are part of the staff, which isn't the case with the other Strategies.

    Of course, if the Duty Holder doesn't have Arborists, then it's to edit the document to explain that they'll be hired when necessary.  The Landowner Strategy covers this.

    Tree Risk Management Strategy | Policy & Plan - Government Agency

    PDF
    Government TRBM Strategy v9.0.pdf

    WORD TEMPLATE
    Government TRBM Strategy v9.0.dotx

    Here are the fonts used in the Tree Risk-Benefit Management Strategies that you might not have installed.

    Museo 700
    Source Sans Pro

    Georgia is the body text and that should already be on your computer.

  • 2022-05-22 8:18 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    Here's the new VALID Likelihood of Failure voting card for v2 of the Tree Risk App, which is in development.

    Tree Risk Assessment | Likelihood of Failure

    If it's new to you, VALID (from where we get our name) gives you 5 chapter headings and 15 subheadings, that can affect a tree's Likelihood of Failure.

    When you're carrying out a tree risk assessment, and have got to the tough Likelihood of Failure decision, VALID gives you a structure that guides through the factors you should consider.

    At its simplest level, VALID is a checklist of things to think about and you're welcome to this voting card we use in training.

    The most important change is:

    DEFECT to DECAY
    We'll finally be rid of any mention of the red DEFECT word in VALID's publications. Those of you who have been there from the beginning will know this has been a quest for some time.

    The first subheading under DEFECT is section modulus. That's because if you don't have a grasp of section modulus, and are relying on t/R ratios, you can't make a reasonable decision about the significance of strength loss from decay.

    If you're not a Validator, who's been trained to use the Tree Risk App, here's their guide on how they go about using the current version to get to a base rate colour. You should get a sense about how this elegant and sophisticated approach helps you with your likelihood of failure decision making from this.

    Likelihood of Failure | Decision Making

    Tree Risk Assessment | Likelihood of Failure

    Day 2 of Validator tree risk training is all about making robust Likelihood of Failure decisions. If you follow this guide, it's really difficult to get it wrong. If anyone tries to game the risk to get it where they want it to be, it's really obvious where they've got it wrong, and that's what they've done.

  • 2022-05-19 11:39 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    In this famous scene from 'Marathon Man', Laurence Olivier finds himself in the uncommon position of playing a retired Nazi Holocaust Dentist. 'The White Angel' escaped Germany with a cluster of stolen diamonds. He's not happy though, because he thinks his retirement stash is threatened. To find out whether it is, he's about to torture a tethered Dustin Hoffman by inflicting pain with a dental scaler, and giving relief with oil of cloves (ISO 31000?). The torment begins with him repeatedly asking, in an increasingly menacing tone

    Tree Safety Management

    "Is it safe?"

    "Is It Safe?"

    "IS. IT. SAFE?"

    Arborists and Urban Foresters are similarly tortured when they're asked about trees.

    "Is it safe?"

    They'll be asked.

    Well, is it or isn't it?

    Safe, to just about anyone, means a complete absence of risk.

    "Is it safe?", is a binary trap. If you answer, "Yes", and the tree then falls and kills, injures, or damages property, no matter how low the risk, clearly the tree wasn't safe.

    Tree Safety Management - A Binary Trap

    Safe enough?
    Even if you reframe the question by answering, "It's safe enough". Or, "It's as safe as necessary". What they'll hear and remember is the word 'safe', and safe to just about everyone means a complete absence of risk. What they won't hear, or will instantly forget is the all-important qualifying 'enough' or 'necessary'.

    Better safe than sorry
    Safe and safety are words that are all too vulnerable to being weaponised with hindsight or outcome bias as failures in the duty of care if a risk is realised. More than that, they can hamstring critical thinking. 'Better safe than sorry,' easily trips off the tongue without a second thought about what it really means. Or the unintended consequences of trying to achieve it. "Could we make it safer?" sounds like a reasonable request.

    Mind your language
    The language you use when talking about tree risk is really important. You can't make a tree safe. You can't remove all of the risk. But you can always make a tree safer by cutting some of it off. If we stick with risk words, we can diffuse lazy phrases like, 'Better safe than sorry' or 'If in doubt, take it out', because it translates to 'Better no trees, or less tree, than any risk.'

    If the risk from a tree is Acceptable or Tolerable, there's no reason to make it safer by cutting bits of it off. It's why you won't find the 'S' word in any of VALID's Tree Risk-Benefit Assessment and Management publications.

Stay up to date

Contact: admin@validtreerisk.com

© VALID is a not-for-profit organisation