The much criticised way in which the authorities handle the city's trees could be in for a revamp when a newly commissioned study is released late next year, according to the government's new chief landscaper. Findings of the study - commissioned by the Development Bureau - may be used to formulate policies and set standards for frontline staff in managing trees and landscapes in public places. The bureau engaged a consultant in September to conduct a "human resources and competence survey" on tree management. It expects to receive the results late next year, according to Deborah Kuh, a Melbourne-based landscape architect who became the bureau's new head of greening, landscape and tree management in May. The study will help the government to better understand problems in the system and make better use of resources to solve them, she said. For instance, experts have long expressed concern about the lack of professionally trained tree specialists and the absence of a qualification and recognition system for these specialists - ranging from certified arborists to chainsaw operators. This has been partly blamed on the poor management of trees throughout the city. Trees which have fallen down have damaged buildings and caused traffic disruption, and in a few cases injured or even killed people. Kuh hopes the new study can help the government overhaul its tree-management regime. "The concern was that there was an imbalance in supply and demand in manpower in the industry and we don't know what to do if we don't know the extent of these problems," she said. "We must slow down this constant reactionary approach and ... study the whole picture." Asked whether this could lead to new policies, Kuh said: "Could be." She added that the survey results may be used to set different professional assessment standards and recognition systems. Officials have been criticised for ignoring calls to set up a register for tree and landscaping workers - which experts believe would raise standards and improve public safety. With a register system, tree and landscape workers - such as chainsaw operators - would need to pass a test to ensure they have the required skills. Kuh said she wanted to change the bureaucrat mindset in managing trees and introduce a more holistic approach. "Trees don't grow in a blank white space - and many times we talk about them like they do," she said.