Owning trees can be compared to owning pets. They are both enjoyable to have and life wouldn’t be the same without them. But with the pleasure they provide comes risks and responsibilities. We’re all familiar with pet risks like dog bites and cat scratches but do you know the risks trees present?
The most obvious is the chance that wind, snow, ice and age may cause branches to break and come crashing to the ground, resulting in personal injury or property damage. Some trees produce surface roots that can cause tripping accidents. Like pets, trees can also contract diseases or be infested with unfriendly insects.
While accidents do happen, you can manage tree risks to minimize the chance of them occurring. Some of the precautions that you can take include:
• Moving possible targets like sandboxes, playground equipment, picnic tables, cars and any moveable hardscape features to prevent them from being hit by falling tree parts.
• Having the tree pruned to remove dead, dying, crossing, rubbing or rotting branches.
• Cabling and bracing to provide support for weak branches and limbs. While this procedure isn’t a guarantee against failure, it does reduce the odds of a catastrophic failure.
• Providing the routine care that mature trees require. Routine maintenance includes water, mulch, fertilization and pruning.
• Removing the tree. If none of the preventive remedies work, high risk trees should be removed. This will not only reduce the hazard they present but will also give you peace of mind.
Ideally, removed trees should be replaced to maintain the environment they’ve created.. Removing a large tree can leave a hole in the landscape. Shade tolerant plants may be growing beneath the canopy. Or they may be growing in the shadow cast by the tree. Removing the tree will leave these plants in full sunlight, which will stress them to the point that they may not survive.
Tree work is not a DIY project. For safety’s sake, leave tree work to the professionals. More than 100 people are killed each year and many more are seriously injured performing their own tree work. I don’t want you to become a statistic. Serious injury or death isn’t worth it. Besides having the specialized training and equipment to repair or remove your large tree(s), our professional arborists possess the knowledge and education to inspect a tree and determine if it presents a hazard to your family, visitors and property.
You wouldn’t hesitate to take your pets to the vet when they are sick, or even for regular check-ups. So, don’t take a chance with your trees. Have an annual hazard inspection, but don’t wait for your annual inspection if something appears to be wrong. Having repairs made as soon as you see a problem can save lives.