Tree Tips: Recognize and Prevent Tree Hazards

Joel Hackett is a Certified Arborist Residing in the St Mary's Area. Spending most of the year running Joel's Tree Service, he also teaches Arboriculture during the winter at Lambton College. Joel Hackett does not assume any Liability for any information in this article.
Joel Hackett is a Certified Arborist Residing in the St Mary’s Area. Spending most of the year running Joel’s Tree Service, he also teaches Arboriculture during the winter at Lambton College. Joel Hackett does not assume any Liability for any information in this article.

TreeTips_BranchEvery year thousands of dollars in property damage is caused by falling trees, or broken limbs. This can occur as a result of ice storms, and high winds. However, often a tree will just fall or break due to the stress and problems that come with natural aging.

Though some tree failures are unpredictable, often many are preventable. By inspecting your trees it is possible to predict and correct a problem before it arises. Trees should be inspected on a regular basis, the larger the tree the more likely it is to fail. There are a number of things to consider when dealing with trees, firstly consider the tree’s history. Has it seen a severe drought or was a drive way built right beside it, etc. These things are all important, in order to predict, when a problem will occur, as well as explain why a problem has occurred.

When inspecting a tree, ask yourself: are there multiple leaders, large upright branches going different directions, with a lot of unbalanced weight? Other things to look for are cavities, weak branch attachments, rot, sawdust, carpenter ants, hangers, and/or deadwood.

Sometimes though, even a proper inspection can miss a dangerous problem. In the picture the branch that fell had no warning signs, as the rot was completely concealed below the bark. The only indication of the problem was a great amount of weight leaning the wrong direction.

If you have a question, you can email me at jtsquote@gmail.com, and I will respond either by email or in a future article. If you would like me to come and assess one of your trees, you can call me at 519-272-5742.

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