The corona virus and resulting stay at home order has prevented me from scheduling or attending site inspections. I require site inspection for most forms of consulting work, including as a consulting arborist or expert witness.
- Tree failures, health and risk assessment
- Tree inventories
- Tree and nursery appraisals
- Tree roots and infrastructure damage.
- Landscape appurtenances creating trip and fall hazard.
- Obscured landscape hazards, grade changes
- Irrigation operation, maintenance issues
A client wanted me to attend and observe asphalt paving taking place adjacent to an 80 year old Torrey Pine. I had previously consulted on preserving this tree during construction on an adjacent property. The client was repaving his driveway on the alley, the pine is right on the edge of the paving.
Due to California stay at home orders, I informed the client I could not be present to observe the paving to make recommendations, so we used the Facetime app and did an online site observation whereby I watched in real time as the work was being performed. I was able to give the client recommendations in real time.
He was concerned about root damage, and rightly so. Some of large buttress roots would be impacted by the paving. Instead of cutting, I recommended covering the roots with wet towels, fabric etc, then placing moistened sand base, then pave over the roots.
As terrible as it is, the corona virus has created many new ways for industries to re-invent how they do their business. This was the first time I have attempted on online site inspection and it worked! This may not be applicable for the types of investigations I perform, but there is a great new tool I can use for certain types of investigations during stay at home and even beyond.
The financial savings for the client are obvious. Travel costs for me to travel to Los Angeles, Orange or Inland Empire typically range from $500 to $1000 or more if hotel stay is required.
Not all inspections can be performed remotely. Forensic investigations that require measurements, excavations, sampling, testing etc may not be applicable.
Since this is new to me, it will take some real time client cases for me to determine how and when I can utilize this new tool.