Leeds Jewish Housing Association

Introduction

Leeds Jewish Housing Association (LJHA) is a Jewish led, minority ethnic housing association, providing homes for the local Jewish Community. It has over 400 properties consisting of studio apartments, 1 and 2 bed apartments, family homes, sheltered and assisted living accommodation located across North Leeds. OUTCO Grounds Maintenance have provided planned grounds maintenance and reactive tree work services since April 2011 with estimated annual spend amounting to £60,000 + per annum.

The Problem

The reactive tree element of the service caused significant budgeting problems as the association had no tree management or maintenance plan in place. There was little historic information available to aid the development of a cyclical tree works maintenance programme. The scope and scale of the tree stock across the portfolio was un-know e.g. location, species, age, condition and protected status. This resulted in a costly reactive maintenance programme.

The Solution

A period of consultation between LJHA and OUTCO around the spiralling tree maintenance costs lead to a detailed arboriculture survey being carried out across the entire portfolio. The survey took place over a two-month period. All individual trees were plotted by GIS onto maps and given unique identity codes. The species, age, location and condition were recorded as well as any works required at various levels of priority e.g. within three months within twelve months within twenty-four months.

The Result

The survey along with site maps and consultant recommendations was presented to the association who then used the information to obtain three quotes from independent tree surgeons to carry out the specified works over a three-year period. Budgeting issues have been resolved and the association have a detailed understanding of potential risk across the portfolio, satisfying the association’s Insurers.

Conclusion

Commissioning the survey from an independent consultant has led to the creation of an unbiased management and maintenance plan that can be utilised by the association to inform the future management of their tree stock enabling them to engage with tree surgeons to obtain like for like quotes over the three-year period. In addition, after year one of the maintenance programme has been delivered estimated spend over year two and three will be significantly reduced.

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