Tree Risk Assessment

Hazard Tree Risk Assessment

Hazardous trees can present a serious risk to people and property. Identification of hazardous trees should be done by an experienced arborist. Proper Tree Care provides assessment of trees to target potential hazard trees and design a plan to meet you specific needs.

Trunk and Branch Inspection

The trunk and branch inspection consists of four areas

  • Cracks – Do the cracks affect the mechanical strength of the tree many types of cracks can occurs in trees. For example cracks can be across the grain or up and down the tree. Cracks can result from internal decay, tension and compression of a leaning tree and the weight of large, heavy limbs pulling the tree apart.
  • Decay – When evaluating a trees decay it is important to determine if there is enough wood strength to support the structure of the tree. Decay can be obvious but, it can also be hidden showing only limited outward signs. A trained arborist can identify decay problems during an evaluation.
  • Poor Structure – Co-dominant stems, which have the appearance of a V shape, are indicators of weak attachments and more prone to failure. Poor structure can also result from incorrect pruning practices, such as topping, flush cutting, and lion tailing. Limb scars are evidence of previous branch failure and could be predictors for future problems.
  • Root Structure Problems – When roots are severed cracked, or decayed, there can be significant loss of structural support greatly increasing the risk of tree failure. Trees leaning more than 30 to 40 degrees from vertical or leaning with recent root lifting, cracks, or buckling should be considered high risk.
Crown (Canopy) Inspection

The crown inspection consists of three areas

  • Canopy Size – The larger the crown on of the tree, the more force that is exerted throughout the canopy. This force is amplified in areas of defects, such as poor branch attachment or decay. Excessive end-weight is very common in uncared for mature oak trees and is a frequent contributor to failure. Pruning to reduce end-weight in combination with thinning can reduce the wind sail effect (force exerted throughout the canopy when the branches “catch” the wind) thereby reducing the failure potential.
  • Branches – Dead or hanging branches left in a tree can be deadly. They can break loose and fall at anytime, which can result in significant damage to people or property below. Limbs sprouting from old topping cuts are considered to have a higher failure potential because of the poor attachment and potential for internal decay.
  • Common Defects – Mushrooms, conks, bleeding, excessive sap flow, nesting holes, bee hives, borers, and insect damage are common indicators that problems may be present beneath the surface also increasing failure potential throughout the canopy.

The target consists of the area under and around the tree

  • Occasional Use – Foot traffic in field.
  • Medium Use – Side street side walk or side street driving.
  • High Use – Heavy used street, high traffic walk path, busy parking lot.

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to schedule a Hazard Tree Risk Assessment of your property.