OTISS supports BS5837:2012, “Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations“. OTISS can greatly assist Arboricultural Consultants when carrying out surveys and preparing reports on planned developments.

  • On-site data collection and photos using the BS5837 Survey app on your Android phone, tablet or GPS device.
  • Web based tools for further update, sharing and collaboration.
  • Formatted PDF and Excel charts and tables to include to your report.
  • Simple maps to show crown spread or RPA (no CAD needed).
  • CAD drawings for you to adapt and tailor with your CAD application for full range of plans.

With OTISS you can record all the information you need, and quickly process it into data tables and charts to be incorporated into a final report – saving you time and effort on data-entry and report preparation. Quickly export the tree data into your own CAD application where you can produce a full range of plans.

BS5837 Feature Summary

  • An online, web-based system combined with the BS5837 Survey Android™ application for on-site data collection.
  • A complete BS5837:2012  survey form with all the required fields, measurements and calculations.
  • Additional set of user defined fields that can be customised (or omitted) to suit the requirements of each client. User defined picklists of standard items for all fields.
  • Take photos as you survey. Good photos reduce the need for detailed descriptions, and speed up the survey process.
  • Online maps and colour coded icons based on the BS5837 retention category.
  • Plot directly onto your own site plans, architects plans, CAD DWG drawing, Ordnance Survey maps, OS Mastermap, topography plans, geo-referenced maps or aerial photos.
  • Works with the GPS device in your phone/tablet, or with external GPS/GNSS receivers with sub-metre accuracy.
  • Predefined and tailored Excel charts and data tables for you to incorporate into your final report.
  • Generate CAD/DXF drawings showing location, reference, species, category, crown spread, RPA and shadow arc. Use you CAD application or PT-Mapper to import the trees into the original CAD drawing. Or import the survey data into AutoCAD utilities such as KeyTREE and ArborCAD.

BS5837 Surveys and Inspections

An OTISS ‘BS5837 Survey’ is created to plan and carry out a survey. This ‘survey‘ record contains general information about aims, restrictions, weather on the day, overall findings, etc. Within a ‘survey’, an ‘inspection‘ record is created for each tree; see the full listing of BS5837 survey data stored by OTISS

  • A complete BS 5837:2012 survey form with additional sets of user defined fields that can be customised to suit the requirments of each client.
  • Automatic calculation of RPA – including multiple stem diameters.
  • Premium users can Modify the RPA on the map to better suit tree condition and local surroundings.
  • NHBC data on expected mature height of each species.
  • Inspections can be entered directly onto the website or can be carried out using your mobile phone or tablet. With the BS5837Survey Android application, you can view, update and create new trees – view screenshots. The maps, photos and data are synchronised between OTISS and your phone.

Tree Valuation

As an optional extra, you could also carry out a CAVAT or TEMPO valuation on the trees. The tree valuation sub-forms are simply part of the BS5837 survey. As you fill in the valuation factors, the forms automatically calculate a resulting monetary value (£) or merit score. Read more…

Inventory of Trees

The inventory that was built up during the surveys can be viewed and updated from any Web browser.

  • The BS5837 spreadsheet page allows you to search and sort your data using multiple criteria. For example:
    • “show me all trees on a particular site that need work doing on them”,
    • “list all the oak trees and order them by age class”.
  • OTISS provides a set of several hundred Common Tree Species. For each estate, you can add your own Estate Tree Species.
  • If you have existing spreadsheets, databases, KMLs or shapefiles with relevant tree or inspection data, we may be able to load these into OTISS. Please contact us for more information on what can be done.
  • We are looking at features whereby OTISS will be able to store photos and other documents relating to each tree.

Photos and Documents

The mobile survey apps are used to take photos of the trees and their defects. These are sync’ed to the website, where the Photo Gallery is used to view, update and export the photos. More photos can also be uploaded directly onto the OTISS website. Read more…

In addition, PDFs, Word, Excel and other document types can be stored with each tree. For example, old survey documents, internal decay analysis (e.g. from Tree Diagnostics), tree vitality reports (e.g. from Arborcheck), etc.


The trees can also be displayed using site plans you supply, as well as the online maps (e.g. Open Street Map).

  • Upload your own site plans, architects plans, CAD DWG drawing, Ordnance Survey maps, OS Mastermap, topography plans, geo-referenced maps or aerial photos.
  • The standard pan and zoom features allow you to move around the map.
  • The web map view and the BS5837 Survey Android app both provide very easy ways of adding new trees. Simply click on the map and enter the information you have available.
  • All icons are colour coded icons based on the BS5837 retention category (using the BS5837 defined colour set). The icon size shows the asymmetric canopy and the RPA.
  • Premium users can Modify the RPA (as a polygon) to better suit tree condition and local surroundings.
  • Group of trees and hedges are shown as polygons, and can be reshaped as required. Trees can be re-positioned by simply dragging them to a new location.
  • Works with the GPS device in your phone/tablet, or with external GPS/GNSS receivers with sub-metre accuracy.

CAD/DXF drawings and Tree Protection Plans

In OTISS we show the standard RPA and average crown radius on the online maps and plans. But we also generate a CAD/DXF file, that you import it into your CAD application. In CAD you can see the asymmetric crown radius; carry out detailed changes to the RPA; and add extra details for protective fences and ground cover.

The trees can be plotted onto a CAD drawing and exported as a DXF file. For each tree, the drawings shows location, reference, species, retention category, crown spread, RPA (outlined, shaded or modified) and shadow arcs (outined or shaded) – using the BS5837 defined colour set and calculations. The DXF file is intended to be opened by your own CAD application and merged with your existing CAD topp/site plan. More information on the BS5837 CAD/DXF drawings.

Alternatively, import the survey data into AutoCAD utilities such as KeyTREE and ArborCAD.

Creating your Reports

OTISS does not force you to use a particular report format. Instead we provide a set of customisable charts and data tables (PDF and Excel), maps and CAD; for you to encorporate into reports and work schedules.

OTISS provides a range of pre-defined Excel spreadsheets to provide summary charts and detailed information about the surveyed trees. In addition, you can customise your own Excel Report Templates (styles, columns, charts, etc) and OTISS will fill in the data and photos. These provide ready-to-use charts and data tables to be copied to your final report.

BS5837 charts

You can create a set of Excel Report Templates to layout your company style, fonts, colours, column widths, border, formatting, etc. Select which data columns to include and the summary tables to provide some key statistics: e.g. condition, species, etc. Upload your prepared template to OTISS and the spreadsheet is immediately returned to you with the requested data and photos. Copy the charts and tables into your final report. More about Excel Report Templates..

This approach gives you complete control to provide overview, summary and explanations in the final report, and let OTISS provide the bulk of the charts and details.

More Information…