Recognizing Tree Risk
Trees provide significant benefits to our homes and cities, but when trees fall and injure people or damage property, they are liabilities. Understanding and addressing the risks associated with trees makes your property safer and prolongs the life of the tree.
An arborist can help you manage the trees on your property and can provide treatments that may help reduce the risk associated with certain trees. An arborist familiar with tree risk assessment may suggest one or more of the following:
- Remove the target. While a home or a nearby power line cannot be moved, it is possible to move picnic tables, cars, landscape features, or other possible targets to prevent them from being hit by a falling tree.
- Prune the tree. Remove the defective branches of the tree. Because inappropriate pruning may weaken a tree, pruning work is best done by an ISA Certified Arborist.
- Cable and brace the tree. Provide physical support for weak branches and stems to increase their strength and stability. Such supports are not guarantees against failure.
- Provide routine care. Mature trees need routine care in the form of water, nutrients (in some cases), mulch, and pruning as dictated by the season and their structure.
- Remove the tree. Some trees with unacceptable levels of risk are best removed. If possible, plant a new tree in an appropriate place as a replacement.
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Article provided by the International Society of Arboriculture