ANSI A300 Standards for the Tree Care Industry Parts 7-9: Integrated Vegetation Management, Root Management Standard, and Tree Risk Assessment
The tree care industry has its own set of voluntary consensus standards called the ANSI A300 standards. They are generally accepted to be the industry standards for tree care practices. Each of the A300 standards are developed by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), an ANSI-accredited Developing Organization (SDO), and written by a committee called the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) A300, a group comprised of industry representatives.
The ANSI A300 standards are divided into nine parts, each focused on a particular aspect of tree care. This article examines parts seven through nine, which focus on integrated vegetation management, the root management standard, and tree risk assessment.
ANSI A300 Standards (Part 7)
Integrated Vegetation Management
Part 7 of the A300 standards applies to the creation and implementation of integrated vegetation management plans. It addresses the following items related to vegetation management:
- Establishing management objectives.
- Performing site evaluations.
- Cultural control methods.
- Biological control methods.
- Mechanical control methods.
- Evaluating and selecting management control methods.
- In Vitro Maturation (IVM) applications.
- Monitoring IVM treatments.
- Chemical control applications.
- Management of vegetation on electrical utilities.
- Description of the wire zone border zone concept.
- Initial clearing of the right-of-way area.
- Selective and non-selective management.
- The A300 IVM standards recognize the wire zone border zone concept for managing vegetation on electrical utilities. The wire zone border zone concept is a cultural control method that involves habitat modification. It establishes and promotes the growth of compatible plant species within electrical utility rights-of-way. This helps ensure the reliability of electrical utilities and other supply lines while encouraging the development of stable plant communities.
ANSI A300 Standards (Part 8)
Root Management Standard
Part 8 of the A300 standards encompasses root management. It addresses a bevy of subjects related to root management, including:
- Root management objectives.
- Methods of management.
- Selecting and implementing root management methods.
- Conducting root evaluations.
- Soil excavation.
- Trenching near a tree.
- Root pruning and cutting.
- Managing root defects.
- Girdling roots.
- Improving root quality.
- Facilitating root care.
- Promoting tree health and stability.
- Managing the interaction of tree roots with soil, infrastructure, property, and other plants.
- Managing trees to mitigate root damage or loss.
- In the United States, the A300 Root Management Standard takes precedence over previously established tree care management standards and guidelines.
- Root management practices for agriculture, silviculture, and horticultural production are considered exempt from this standard unless this standard, or a portion thereof, is expressly referenced by the standards for each of the aforementioned subjects.
ANSI A300 Standards (Part 9)
Tree Risk Assessment
Part nine of the A300 standards addresses standard practices for tree risk assessment. It is the first national standard to address risk management of trees. Its purpose is to provide guidelines for the practice of tree risk assessment, and standards for writing specifications.
Part nine of the A300 standards is comprised of five clauses, each of which pertains to a specific subject. The first clause reiterates the scope, purpose, and application of the A300 standards. The four subsequent clauses (numbered 90-93) focus on assessment standards, normative references, definitions, and assessment practices.
The Four Major Clauses
- Clause 90 identifies the purpose and reason for the standard, the qualifications for implementation of the standard, and the safety mandates of the standard.
- Clause 91 includes the normative references to the ANSI Z133 Safety Standard and OSHA’s 29 CFR 1010 standard.
- Clause 92 provides definitions of risk assessment terms.
- Clause 93 establishes the standards for risk assessment practices. It consists of six main sub-clauses, which identify assessment objectives, qualifications, scope of work, levels of assessment, target identification, and risk analysis and reporting.