Trees and Vegetation

Infrastructural hazards from trees include impact damage and associated service disruption from storm-related windthrow. Most of the trees which fail under severe weather conditions do so not because of ill health or due to extreme mean windspeeds, but instead due to subtle combinations of precise microenvironmental circumstances.

These circumstances articulate a tree’s “storm resilience”.

Our blue-sky research has enabled us to model the storm resilience of tree populations at national scale, in turn facilitating targeted, risk-based control.

Our first such model, THREATS_SRM, was so successful in reducing infrastructure downtime and associated costs, that the UK’s Network Rail commissioned a successor model, POLESTORM, for nationwide rollout. POLESTORM is significantly more sophisticated than the original model which was, in itself, unique.

In addition to POLESTORM, our portfolio in this area includes:

  • FAILSAFE, which reduces the risk of death and injury from tree failure onto mass transit systems
  • VIPER, which identifies and evaluates vegetation-related interference with infrastructure, prioritising occurrences for intervention based on a case-specific scoring system

Our tree and vegetation-related natural hazard management systems rely on a LiDAR survey, and are designed to run within a computer-based, automatic data extraction and analysis architecture provided by our technology partner, Airbus Defence and Space.