Bob's Tree Hazard Checklist
Consider these questions . . .
1. Are there large dead branches in the tree?
2. Are there detached branches hanging in the tree?
3. Does the tree have cavities or rotten wood along the
trunk or in major
4. Are mushrooms present at the base of the tree?
5. Are there cracks or splits in the trunk or where branches
6. Have any branches fallen from the tree?
7. Have adjacent trees fallen over or died?
8. Has the trunk developed a strong lean?
9. Do many of the major branches arise from one point on
10. Have the roots been broken off, injured or damaged by
lowering the soil
level, installing pavement, repairing sidewalks or digging
11. Has the site recently been changed by construction,
raising the soil level
or installing lawns?
12. Have the leaves prematurely developed an unusual color
13. Have trees in adjacent wooded areas been removed?
14. Has the tree been topped or otherwise heavily pruned?
Trees provide significant benefits to our homes and cities, but
when trees fall and injure people or damage property, they are
liabilities. Taking care of tree hazards makes your property safer
and prolongs the life of the tree. Trees are an important part
of our world. They offer a wide range of benefits to the environment
and provide tremendous beauty.
However, trees may be dangerous. Trees or parts of trees may fall
and cause injury to people or damage to property. We call trees
in such situations hazardous, to signify the risk involved with
their presence. While every tree has the potential to fall, only
a small number actually hit something or someone. It is an owner's
responsibility to provide for the safety of trees on his/her property.
This article provides some tips for identifying the common defects
associated with tree hazards. However, evaluating the seriousness
of these defects is best done by a professional arborist.
Regular tree care will help identify hazardous trees and the risk
they present. Once the hazard is recognized, steps may be taken
to reduce the likelihood of the tree falling and injuring someone.