18 Jun 2013

Assessment of Landscape Management

For years I have travelled down the M40 past High Wycombe and I have greatly admired a large commercial building on the left hand side of the motorway, just before the first High Wycombe junction and not far from the Holiday Inn.  The trees planted along the frontage with the motorway have now grown up so that only a glimpse of the building can be seen, which is a success story for the trees but perhaps not what the Architect intended.  Then just a few days ago I was contacted by a large property management company and asked to prepare a report on the standard of grounds maintenance around that very building.  My visit to the building which is now owned by Johnson & Johnson didn't disappoint and the interior is every bit as impressive as the great white and glazed elevations.  The main purpose of my visit was to make an assessment of the extensive lawns and planting areas that flow all around the building, but I couldn't help but notice a very large Beech tree very close to the building and overhanging the restaurant terrace (yes, the staff there are very well catered for).  The Beech tree caught my eye because something about it didn't look right and closer inspection revealed some serious decay at the base and up the main stem.  Given its position and the potenetial fall zone, my advice to the client was to fell the tree as soon as possible.  Although the tree inspection was not part of my commission remit, I included it in my fee as part of the service we are pleased to provide.  The loss of this tree is certainly regrettable in that it was the last mature tree on the site, and considerable trouble must have been taken to protect the tree when the building was first built about twenty years ago.  On the other hand if it had split apart and fallen into the building or the restaurant terrace the consequences would have been much worse.  As a multi disciplinary landscape consultancy we are always looking to add value to the service we provide our customers, and part of our reward is we get the chance to visit some very nice properties.

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