Tree Work Specification Writing


When it becomes necessary to undertake any work on your tree(s) it is very important that the work done, is exactly what was required. Following a thorough inspection of the tree(s) three items to be addressed and clearly defined are: -

·        Define the Objectives of the work.

Clearly and concisely state what the purpose of the work is and what you want or need to achieve.

·        Clearly communicate how the work should be done without causing further damage to your tree(s).

By stipulating “ANSI (American National Standards Institute) A-300 For Tree Care Operations-Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance, Standard Practices, pruning standards”, you are using a “common language”, accepted and understood by professionals in the tree care industry across the country. The A-300 defines terms and operations thereby eliminating the likelihood of confusion or errors in respect of the proposed work, e.g. “ Crown Cleaning” as defined by the standards is “The removal of dead, dying, diseased, crowded, weakly attached, low vigor branches and water sprouts from a tree’s crown”. This clearly does not include removal of any live material other than that included above. If the objective is to also increase the permeability of the crown to wind then “Crown Thinning”, which is defined as “The selective removal of branches to increase light penetration and air movement, and to reduce weight”, would be appropriate. However, in this instance reference to the standard is not sufficient on its own and a specification is required, see below.

·        Clearly state the Quantity of the work required.

Clearly state the quantity of work required, e.g. “Crown Cleaning deadwood greater than one inch diameter” or “Crown Raising to ten feet from yard” or “Crown thinning by fifteen percent, no pruning cuts greater than one inch diameter”.

Preparing written documents detailing tree care operations can frequently be exceedingly frustrating, both for the person preparing the documents and for the contractor trying to interpret them. In the past we have seen many instances where problems have occurred due to the lack of a “common language” clearly defining what is required. The A-300 Standards give us the means to compare “apples to apples”.

           Writing specific details of work to be performed, using A-300 standards, provides the client the means to compare competitive bids for required work, based on the same quality and quantity of work.

We can prepare written bid specifications in a format, which would be immediately usable to solicit competitive bids for tree work. Specifications would be written in a manner that would preclude the likelihood of work being performed that would be detrimental to the tree(s).


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