Understanding the Language of Trees

Visual Tree Assessment (VTA) is at the cutting edge of modern arboriculture, helping trained arboriculturists to understand what the body language of trees is saying to us about the structural condition of trees. Developed by Professor Claus Mattheck, this method is becoming more and more widely recognised as a primary tool for tree health assessment, often eliminating the need for costly investigations using specialised equipment.

Trees are unique living organisms, living longer and becoming more massive than any other organism on the planet. Their particular biology allows them to grow and function, adapting to changes in their environment and to provide support to the complex structures they grow into, resisting huge stress forces that can be exerted onto them by nature. They do this by combining biological with mechanical designs giving enormous strength.

Making Tree Management Economical and Successful

But any system is vulnerable to failure. Trees can suffer damage in their lifetimes, or changes in their surrounding environment or they may simply become too old. Micro-organisms are constantly trying to attack trees and those that do gain a foothold can cause wood decay, potentially weakening the tree. A healthy vigorous tree can normally adjust to changes to its environment or to its structure, but a weakened or older tree may succumb to such changes. Visual Tree Assessment helps us to read what is happening to a tree, aiding decision making about the correct management of a tree. It could avoid costly tree surgery, or successfully predict a tree failure before it takes place, potentially avoiding a catastrophic failure.

Experts you can Trust

We live in an increasingly litigious world and ignorance is no defense for the landowner who has failed to keep a watchful eye on his trees.

There are many self appointed tree experts, many of whom will simply reach for the chainsaw at the first sign of a problem. There are just as many who claim to have ‘read the book’, but this is no substitute for formal training. Simon Hawkins has studied under Professor Mattheck and is a certified practitioner having attained the advanced level of technical competence. Simon continues to follow Claus Mattheck’s work and has even been to Germany by special invitation to study with him out there.

View Visual Tree Survey certification