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Beware Of The Enemy Above

An enemy may lurk high in your beautiful trees, undetected until it comes crashing down on you. No, it’s not a wild animal. It’s the tree itself.

When people reach a certain age, health care professionals advise having a physical each year. Early detection of problems can result in more positive outcomes with less aggressive treatment.

Arborists recommend the same for your mature trees, except that we call it a tree hazard inspection instead of a physical exam. The purpose is the same – to diagnose any problems early so they can be taken care of before they cause any injury or damage.

Some of the problems we encounter include…
• Broken branches that are just hanging and could break and fall any minute;
• Weak branches that could break from just a little wind;
• Insects like emerald ash borer, mites, aphids and hemlock woolley adelgid;
• Fungus, disease and rot;
• Girdling roots that are strangling and killing the tree.

Hazard tree inspections aren’t DIY diagnoses. Many problems occur high up in the tree. Our arborists need to climb up or go up in a bucket to see them. They’re trained to identify such problems as weak branches. When diagnosing girdling root, they have to excavate the soil around the base. Digging through the tangle of roots manually can be backbreaking work. Our arborists use an “air spade” that removes the soil without disturbing the roots. They then use great care to surgically remove the offending root.

An annual tree hazard inspection is an investment, not an expense. Your trees are valuable living organisms that add monetary, as well as aesthetic, value to your property. Letting problems progress to the point that the tree dies results in a costly removal plus another expense to buy a new tree and have it planted. The bottom line is that an annual inspection is very inexpensive insurance.

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One comment on “Beware Of The Enemy Above

  1. Thank you for saying so. (I am an arborist.)

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