Why Do I Need a Tree Hazard Assessment

Why Do I Need a Tree Hazard Assessment

Hazard assessment to prevent tree damage or failure during severe weather

Don’t let your trees threaten your property or life as they destabilize during severe weather. Regular tree assessments and preventative measures can help your trees survive severe storm conditions intact.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why trees need regular hazard assessments, what is examined during an evaluation, the types of damages trees suffer in different storms, and preventative measures you can take.

Tree Hazard Assessments – Emergency and Storm Safety

Tree hazard (or tree risk) assessments provide crucial information to the surveyor and the homeowner about the health and stability of the trees being surveyed. These assessments are used in determining:

• The overall health and stability of a tree
• Whether a tree will remain stable during severe weather events
• If the tree poses an infestation or disease threat to surrounding trees
• If the tree is a threat to surrounding structures or people
• A course of action including pruning or removal

The older your trees become, the more they require hazard assessments. As trees age, they become more massive, less flexible, and in many cases, more susceptible to disease and infestations.

Just as necessary is the assessment of the soil where the tree is rooted, soil erosion can become a significant problem for a tree’s stability. This erosion can cause the root plate to lift during the slightest of winds resulting in an emergency, and the toppling of an otherwise healthy tree.

Without these assessments, your trees can develop irreversible damages from diseases, infestations, girdling, compacted soil, and many other conditions (detected in an assessment) that weaken the tree. All it takes is one severe storm to bring down a weakened tree and cause catastrophic damages.

Follow the link for signs and symptoms of a troubled tree toddsmariettatreeservices.com/troubled-tree-signs-symptoms/

Hazard assessment for diseased or dying trees

What is a Tree Hazard Assessment?

Tree hazard assessments happen when a tree professional or certified arborist physically survey the overall health and stability of a tree. A typical assessment looks for the following:

• Signs of disease
• Signs of infestation
• Abnormal growth habits
• Leaning
• Dead, missing, or damaged bark
• Cracks
• Lightning damage
• Balance and density of the crown
• Dead twigs or branches
• Mushroom conks
• Cankers

These examinations are comprehensive and include assessments of:

• Cut or damaged surface roots
• Lifting of the root plate
• Soil conditions and/or erosion
• Soil compaction
• Pavement over roots
• Topography
• Surrounding structures (targets)
• Typical weather for the location
• Wind exposure
• Vines and other potentially harmful plant species

When a tree professional or arborist performs a tree hazard assessment, he is looking for anything about the tree, its root plate, or environment that could be alarming. Read toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-identify-tree-emergency/ for some warning signs and things to look for that indicate a potential tree emergency, and call an arborist or professional tree service if you suspect something is wrong.

Disaster Tree Damage Caused by Storms

Tree hazard assessments take into account the weather patterns common to the tree’s location. Different elements of weather impact trees differently and may require specific actions to prevent irreversible damages to the tree. The following are some of the weather conditions that can cause a weakened tree to topple and preventative measures:

Tree hazard assessment to prevent property damage during storms

Wind – When wind speeds are high, they can impose tremendous force on a tree. During hurricanes or tornadoes, trees may be stripped of their leaves and branches. These winds are capable of twisting, breaking, and uprooting trees. Also, during major storms, debris may debark the tree requiring its removal after the storm.

Course of action: Promote the health of the tree by fertilizing, mulching, and pruning. Provide deep watering to promote deep root growth, and hire a professional tree service to thin out the crown, reducing the tree’s wind-resistance.

You can also create wind diversions by planting shrubs upwind from your trees or by installing fences along your property line.

Flooding – Erosion caused by flooding can be devastating to all plant life. Floods typically result in the complete saturation of the ground and can quickly destabilize the roots of the oldest and strongest of trees.

Course of action: Plant trees on elevated land and reconfigure your landscaping to facilitate water runoff from your property.

Promote the health of your trees by fertilizing, mulching, and pruning. When floods are caused by storm surge, it is the health of your tree and the depth of its roots that will help determine whether it topples or not.

Lightning – By their height, trees are a common target for lightning. Your tree’s bark may be blown off or scars left on the trunk when the electricity is conducted along the outside of the tree. When the electrical charge penetrates the tree trunk, the moisture within the trunk may be converted to vapor and cause the tree to explode.

The most susceptible trees to lightning strikes are poplars, pines, oaks, and elms.

Course of action: Install lightning rods on your property and to the top of your home to divert lightning from your trees.

Ice – Winter snow or ice storms may deposit ice on the foliage and branches of your tree. The weight of accumulated ice on a tree together with wind can break branches or cause the tree to fall.

Hazard assessment to prevent tree damage or collapse under snow and ice weight

Trees resistant to ice damage include oaks, beech, birch, and American hornbeam.

Course of action: As always, maintain the health of your tree throughout its growing season. In the fall, have your trees pruned, and crowns thinned to reduce the potential of ice accumulation.

In some cases, storms can unleash tremendous amounts of rain, wind, flooding, etc. that can bring down weakened and healthy trees alike. However, annual hazard assessments allow you to take actions that minimize damages to your trees and property when they fall.

Tree Health and Hazard Assessments

In this article, you discovered the importance of tree hazard assessments, what tree professionals look for during an assessment, what damages are caused by storms, and what you can do to help your trees through storms.

By scheduling annual tree hazard assessments, you create the possibility to catch and reverse potential threats to your tree’s health. These assessments also enable you to remove trees that can cause catastrophic damages when toppling in storms.

If you neglect to have hazard assessments performed, infestations, soil compaction, or disease may weaken your tree to the point where it falls during a weather event. Thus, endangering your property, home, and life.

Sources:
http://gatrees.org/community-forests/management/trees-storm-safety/storm-preparation/index.cfm
https://www.southernforests.org/urban/trees-and-storm-safety

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

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