When determining the health and stability of a tree, it is essential to remember that things are not always as they appear on the surface. A tree can appear perfectly healthy, but that doesn’t always mean that the tree is stable. For example, it is possible to have a green, healthy tree with roots that do not provide adequate structural strength for the tree to stand.
Conversely, a tree that is dead or dying as a result of an insect attack or even drought might not be at risk of toppling over. If you have a tree growing in an area that is in close proximity to people or structures, it is important to get a hazardous tree inspection.
What is Involved in a Hazardous Tree Inspection?
When an inspector comes to assess the health of the trees on your property, several factors are taken into account. Inspectors will examine potential targets, site history, and tree biology. These determining factors will allow inspectors to gauge the probability of a tree failure.
There are three types of targets inspectors will look for when performing their assessment.
These targets are:
Buildings, power lines, and other permanent/semi-permanent structures fit under this category. These items are not able to be moved.
Cars, playground equipment, sculptures, and other movable items fall under this category. These items can be relocated with little effort.
People, animals, or vehicles in motion fall under this category. These targets are in motion regularly.
When examining targets, assessors will look at the amount of time a target spends in an impact zone to determine if an impact is likely. Occupancy is divided into three categories: constant (24/7), frequent (a large portion of a day or week), and occasional (areas of irregular traffic).
As part of their inspection, a tree risk assessor will determine the likelihood of impact. This is calculated by taking into account other environmental factors that could protect target zone occupants in the event of a tree structural failure. An assessor will report the likelihood of impact on a scale ranging from very low to high.
The history of the environmental site where the tree or trees grows is directly connected to its structural integrity. Therefore, changes to a site, whether the change was made in the past or present, will increase or decrease the likelihood of a tree failure. As such, a thorough site examination is necessary to determine whether the trees present pose a risk to the targets that occupy the same space.
There are several factors taken into consideration when performing this examination. The identification and assessment of:
- History of failures
- Soil attributes
- Drainage patterns
- Wind patterns
- Land disturbances
- Construction damage
- Root growth limitations
- Tree health factors
- Land-use history
A hazardous tree inspection should include details of a tree’s health and vigor. These qualities will bolster a tree’s resistance to the spread of decay and enable it to maintain sufficient wood growth to increase its stability.
The following factors could be direct contributors to tree failure.
- Tree rot
- Wood development
- Insect infestation
- Poor root health
Any defects resulting from these factors could weaken the tree’s structural stability, increasing its likelihood of failure.
The Inspection Report
After an in-depth assessment of the tree(s), the site history, and the targets, a tree risk assessor will determine the likelihood of impact. Impact likelihood is calculated by taking other environmental factors that could protect target zone occupants in the event of a tree structural failure into account.
An assessor will report the likelihood of failure on a scale ranging from improbable to imminent, along with the consequences of a failure should one occur.
Tree or parts of a tree are not likely to fail under normal weather conditions.
Extreme weather could cause failure, but normal weather conditions are not expected to affect the tree(s).
Failure under normal weather conditions is expected.
Failure will occur in the near future if it has not already started.
There are four categories for the consequences of failure:
No personal injury, inexpensive property damage, and reparable disruptions.
Low to moderate property damage, limited activity disruptions, and minor personal injuries.
Significant personal injuries, moderate to high-value property damage, and extensive disruption of activities.
Serious personal injury or death, high-value property damage, and major disruption of activities.
“They are wonderful. I had them take down 4 pine trees at my home in Southern Hills. They are very efficient and professional. They know what they are doing! My yard was hardly affected by their presence since they took great care to minimize yard damage. They even cleaned the road after they were done. HIRE THEM YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY. “
– Joe Weston
“Tree Care [by Robert Miller] had trimmed up trees as well as taken down sixteen trees. It was a big job that took all day and they worked continuously to get it all done. They went above and beyond what was expected. Professional, respectful and would recommend them to anyone that wants quality work. Extremely satisfied with the end results. Thank you!”
– Luann U Peritzian
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