Good tree management requires professional care to ensure good health and structural stability. Tree risk assessment is the systematic analysis of a tree and all its parts to identify any health concerns and rate any structural defects. Once the assessment is completed the Arborist can then recommend pruning treatments, removal or other remedial actions before the potential risk becomes too great.
Trees can present a serious hazard if they drop limbs, or fall over unexpectedly. In many cases tree failures result in property damage or worse yet, personal injury.
Tree risk assessment is evaluating the combination of the likelihood of tree, or a part of a tree to fail and the severity of the potential consequence. A systematic process for tree risk assessment is essential to identify, analyze and evaluate risk that may be associated with your trees.
One of the first things ATC will look for when inspecting your trees is decay in the canopy, on the stem or at the trunk flare. This will help determine the level of wood strength and support the tree has. Mushrooms, conks, excessive sap flow, cavities used for urban wildlife, bee-hives or excessive insect infestations indicate that a tree may have more problems than a tree owner realizes. The presence of fruiting bodies of decay fungi (as shown in these photos) is a definite indicator of decay.
However with some species of trees, extensive decay can be hidden with only the slightest of outward signs. The photos below show a large eucalyptus tree with only the slightest indication of decay, however when the tree was finally removed the stump revealed extensive internal decay.
In some cases damage may have occurred to the trunk flare or the root system years before an inspection takes place. In most cases a root crown examination will reveal how much structural support for the tree has been lost and if the tree has a potential for failure. Trees that are leaning or that have had their roots pruned should be thoroughly inspected by a Certified Tree Risk Assessor to determine why it is leaning, how much of an impact the root pruning has had and what the level of risk associated with the tree actually is.
Cracks can naturally occur in a tree, some are indicators of serious problems, while others don’t mean anything. Cracks can be a sign of internal decay, the shear force between the tension and compression wood of a leaning tree and the tension of large, heavy limbs pulling apart the wood.
After high winds, storms or long periods of drought ATC staff can inspect the canopies of your trees for dead or hanging branches in the canopy. These “hangers” oftentimes go unnoticed by tree owners and eventually break loose and fall unexpectedly, usually resulting in property damage or personal injuries. In other cases sucker growth sprouts from old wounds or broken limbs. This shoot growth has a higher failure potential because they are poorly attached to a damaged limb with internal decay.
The staff at ATC can inspect your trees to identify any structural defects in the root mass, trunk base or in the branching structure of the canopy. Based on the results of a tree risk assessment, potential failure can be determined along with recommended corrective treatments.