Every branch of a tree sways in the wind and acts dynamically with the other branches and the trunk in a complex way. This interaction between the various components of a tree at risk can potentially cause significant failure and most tree failures occur during winds and storms. A tree evaluation involves inspecting the tree biomechanics, the shape, and branch structures to evaluate the risk of failure. This is where the training and education a certified arborist receives is critical.
When trees fall, they can cause significant damage to property, people, and pets – they can be a big liability that way. If the trees on your property have been left uncared for or have started to fail, i.e., dropping limbs and cracking branches, getting a tree evaluation could be the difference between cutting it down and returning it to a safe and healthy condition that will last for years to come.
Value of a Tree Risk Assessment
Tree risk assessments rely on identifying and assessing the structural condition of the tree to assess it’s failure potential. A good tree risk assessment involves a systematic review of the tree – top to bottom – and 360 degrees around the tree. Depending on the type of tree and its location in relation to other trees, buildings, etc., our tree risk assessment may involve:
- Visual assessment
- Internal decay testing
- Structural strength tests
We may perform this assessment from the ground and we may climb the tree for a closer inspection of individual limbs. We’ll take into account the tree species, soil condition, wood decay and more to make a sound professional judgment about the best course of action for your tree.
Techniques for Managing Tree Hazards
A trained arborist with knowledge of the local environment and the trees that grow in and around Santa Barbara will know how to manage the hazards involved to keep you and the tree safe. Some of the techniques that may be used include:
- Cabling and bracing the tree to provide physical support for weakened branches and limbs. Such supports may not prevent a failure but they do reduce the risk of catastrophic failure.
- Routine tree pruning and maintenance to keep the tree safe. All trees need routine care in the form of water, nutrients, and in some cases mulch, pruning, and more. Their needs are dictated by the season, their position, their structure, and where they are planted in relation to other things.
- Selective removal may mean the removal of branches that are impeding other objects like power lines or rafters. When other landscape features cause harm to the tree, they may be relocated to protect the tree, or the tree may be selectively removed and replaced with another more appropriate tree for the location.
Understanding and addressing the risks associated with trees keep your property safer as well as prolonging the life of your beautiful tree. Let the team of ISA-certified arborists at Mark Crane’s Tree and Arborist Services design a plan to manage your tree risk. We manage the tree hazards of Hope Ranch, Montecito, and Santa Barbara.