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October 25, 2023

Fall Reminder: Have Trees Inspected

When all the leaves fall from our deciduous trees, we know that winter’s not far off. Time to hunker down in the warm house. But wait! There’s one more job you should do first. Schedule a thorough biomechanical inspection by one of our professional arborists.

As living organisms – giant living organisms – trees provide us with many benefits. Most basic is supplying us with the very oxygen we need to breathe. Big trees also sequester carbon that can pollute the air. In summer they provide shade from the hot sun. Some provide us with food, specifically fruit and nuts.

As living organisms, trees are also subjected to injury, attack by diseases and insect infestation. The result can be tree death and/or failure, and their size and weight can make failure disastrous to people and property.

Many of the insects attacking our trees are invasive pests from other countries. Fungi attack trees, causing them to rot. Often, you don’t even know rot is destroying your trees from the inside out until fruiting bodies that look like mushrooms appear on the trunk or the tree fails and limbs begin breaking off.

One tree enemy that’s often overlooked is the wind. We realize the wind’s a hazard only when a storm causes branches and whole trees to break and uproot. It doesn’t take a strong wind to break a rotted tree, though.

The most positive way to identify any hazards and to be sure your trees are healthy is with an annual tree inspection. Our arborists examine your trees from the crown to the roots, checking for insect activity, diseases, cracks in the trunk and major limbs, significant lean, narrow forks and signs of internal decay.

Many of these conditions can be repaired. Narrow forks, for example, indicate a weakness in which one of the limbs can break. We fix this condition with cabling and bracing. Our arborists put a threaded rod through the two limbs near the fork and secure them with big washers and nuts. The tree grows around the hardware. Up in the crown, we install a network of cables to reduce flexing in the wind.

The presence and extent of internal rot doesn’t necessarily mean that a tree must be taken down right away. The tree’s future depends on the location and amount of rot. Trees can live for decades before rot becomes so extensive that they should be removed. We have special devices that allow us to diagnose the extent of rot and provide you with an accurate prognosis.

Some conditions that may need immediate action include the removal of limbs hanging over your house, pool, power lines or any other place where they can cause expensive damage. We would also recommend removal of any dead, diseased, crossing, rubbing broken/hanging branches.  

Trees add value to your property. Like anything of value, trees need care to retain that value. When a problem is visible to you, it may be too late. That’s why an annual, professional inspection is inexpensive insurance for keeping your trees growing in value.