State-of-the-art tree inspection equipment comes to Wirral

Wirral Council has invested in state-of-the-art detection equipment to identify decay in Wirral’s trees, making it easier to find those that are dangerous or could pose a risk to the public.

Around £12,000 is being invested in an ‘Arborsonic’ system which is used to accurately display decay levels within the tree. This means it’s easier to identify dangerous or unstable trees so they can be safely removed but also, ensures healthy trees can be maintained. The device can also provide details about wood chemistry, moisture distribution and fungal activity within trees.

A misty day in Birkenhead Park.

Currently, the extent of decay in Wirral’s trees is determined by hitting the trunk with a mallet and listening to how hollow the tree sounds and relying on tree “body language” such as stem bulges, cracks and buckles. This method is standard practice across the country and while it is effective, it is much slower and less accurate than using the Arborsonic system which can complete measurements in 5-10 minutes.

Cllr. Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency & Transport Committee, said, “Getting this equipment will make the process of identifying decaying trees more accurate and efficient and will reduce any unnecessary felling.

“I know residents have shared concerns about trees being felled. One of the advantages of this system, which is really beneficial, is that we will be able to share the imagery produced by the Arbosonic. This will make it a really transparent process where we can have a close dialogue with anybody concerned and show them how the tree looks inside – think of it like an ultrasound but for a tree.

“At the moment we have 113 already trees logged in our inventory system which require a decay detection test. This will provide a good spectrum of results for us to analyse while we get to grips with the technology.

“The funding for this equipment is a big boost for Wirral’s mission to double our tree canopy by 2030 and replace every tree that we have to fell.”

The Arborsonic is expected to arrive before Christmas.