If you want to do something for your landscape, even on a hot summer day, consider leisurely walking your property. The purpose: to inspect your trees for hazards. This should be done periodically throughout the year because tree needs, and hazards, change with the season. Summer is a good time to start.
Trees are much like pets. They provide you with great pleasure, but they can also be a liability for which you are responsible. Knowing the possible hazards that can turn your trees from a source of enjoyment to a source of concern can make tree ownership less worrisome and more enjoyable. Here are some hazards to keep an eye on. They were compiled by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).
• Trees growing too close to electric wires. Tree parts that touch an energized wire can cause an outage, fire, surge or other damage. A tree in contact with a live wire can conduct electricity to the ground, causing injury to anyone who touches it. Keeping wires and trees separated is essential.
• Large, dead branches in a tree.
• Detached branches hanging in trees.
• Cavities or rotten wood along the trunk or in major branches.
• Mushrooms at the base of a tree.
• Cracks or splits in the trunk or where branches are attached.
• Branches that have fallen from the tree.
• Adjacent trees that have fallen over or died.
• A trunk that has developed a strong lean.
• Major branches arising from one point on the trunk.
• Roots that have been broken off, injured or damaged by lowering the soil level, installing pavement, repairing sidewalks or digging trenches.
• Recent site changes due to construction, raising the soil level or installing lawns.
• Leaves that have prematurely developed an unusual color or size.
• Tree removals from adjacent wooded areas.
• Topping or heavy pruning of trees.
• Forked trunk with branches and stems equal in size.
Trees may appear strong and majestic, and they are. But they are also very complex organisms. These two factors are why tree care isn’t a DIY activity. As you inspect your trees, the only task for you to do is pick up any fallen branches. Everything else is a job for our professional arborists. If a tree on your property has any of the conditions in the checklist, there’s the danger of branches falling on you, and believe me, they’re heavy. People have been killed by falling branches. If rot is present, there’s a chance that portions of the tree will break when you put weight on them. Or the whole tree could topple injuring you and any bystanders and damaging property.
Hey! That’s may job! (or, at least it used to be. I still do it here.)