Consulting Arborist Services

In addition to land use planning services, Dunster & Associates offers specialized expertise in:

  • Tree risk assessment, (Basic and Advanced) and risk management.
  • Detailed forensic investigation and analysis of tree failures for injury and damage claims.
  • Tree Appraisal for damaged trees
  • Expert Witness Reports and Testimony for Insurance Claims and Court Actions.
  • Litigation Support, Research, and Analysis
  • Preparation of Contract Specifications, Bylaws, Policies

Trees need looking after if they are to be maintained in a healthy and low risk condition. Julian holds professional accreditations  as a Registered Consulting Arborist, a Certified Arborist, a Registered Professional Forester, Registered Professional Planner, and Qualified Risk Assessor. His work is well respected within the profession of arboriculture, and has garnered many awards including honourary life membership in the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Julian pioneered tree risk assessment work in North America. He designed and implemented the widely acclaimed Certified Tree Risk Assessor credential, an accredited WorkSafe BC programme in British Columbia, and the first course of its kind in North America.  Julian was the lead instructor of that programme, and trained most of the Certified Tree Risk Assessors in the Province. The programme was very successful and since its introduction in 1995, it has been taught across North America, and in Hong Kong, with Julian delivering many of the classes. More recently, he has served on the ISA Best Management Practices committee, developing new standards for tree risk assessment. He wrote the Tree Risk Assessment manual for the ISA’s new Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, and is an instructor in that programme. Julian regularly undertakes basic and advanced risk assessments, often using sophisticated equipment to check for decay patterns.

As part of his risk assessment expertise he undertakes forensic investigations into tree failures, seeking out a fact pattern to determine why a tree or tree part failed, and if it was foreseeable. His expertise has been used in inquests in Canada and Hong Kong.

Trees often have multiple forms of value, especially in urban areas where the urban forest provides multiple benefits, such as shade, pollution reduction, slope stabilisation, and enhanced property values. In addition to risk assessment, Julian works on urban forest plans, and helps municipalities to devise and implement policies and plans to help maintain forest cover.

Julian also undertakes damage appraisals arising from factors such as fires, illegal cutting, construction, car crashes, and chemicals. His reports, many of which are used in court and insurance claims, are impartial and reflect a reasonable valuation of the damage under examination. They withstand scrutiny and provide defenceable valuations. Typical clients include insurance companies, private citizens, property managers, and municipalities. He has been a member of the ISA Plant Valuation Committee for many years.

Julian has been accepted as an expert witness in inquests, and tree valuation cases in Canada and Hong Kong. Outside his role as an expert witness he has also provides litigation support services in the form of research and analysis of evidence. He is the author of Trees and The Law in Canada, the definitive text on the subject.

At  a more site specific level Julian has extensive experience working with tree retention strategies on development sites. He works with homeowners, developers, contractors and all levels of government to determine which trees can be saved and then helps to design the plans, policies, and implementation policies necessary to ensure success. Julian has a very hands on approach to these projects and will work directly with the contractors and machine operators on site to ensure that construction work proceeds smoothly, without compromising the needs of the trees.

He has served as an auditor, and independent external reviewer where questions have arisen about:

  • the feasibility of development plans and design approaches for tree retention
  • risk assessment ratings and interpretation of advanced risk assessment data
  • compliance with setbacks, habitat protection, and riparian area requirements
  • slope stability issues after tree removal
  • site restoration

Julian has lectured all over the world (Canada, United States, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, and China). He is a regular speaker at conferences, training seminars, and workshops. For more information please contact him directly to discuss topics of interest, and availability.

The following examples illustrate the breadth of work undertaken by Dunster & Associates.

Call us. Whether it is one tree or a forest, we can help you.

Examples of past projects