It’s impossible to predict the exact day or time a tree will fail. Combine that with the damage that can result due to failure you get risk. However, by determining the likelihood of tree failure, you can make informed decisions that effectively reduce that risk. That’s why Westcoast Tree Care would like to provide you with the following information to help you understand the risks of tree failure.
The Causes of Tree Failure
Naturally, a tree will fall when it’s load is too strong or it’s hit by force. When you take into account the force of wind combined with the weight of rain, snow or ice, failures are more likely to occur during severe weather. Keep in mind that trees also fail during ideal conditions and it’s important to understand why.
The age and species of a tree also play a role when it comes to tree failure. All trees have a unique failure profile that details common issues observed with its individual species. Take for example maple, elm, ash, and birch trees that are more prone to branch failure and should be routinely inspected for signs of damage or weakness.
Beyond a tree itself, the soil and surrounding environment are additional factors that can contribute to tree failure. Soil can easily become saturated with water thus weakening the root system of a tree. Even more, a change in grade or compaction of the soil (due to environmental changes like construction) can also impact the health and stability of a tree.
Determining the Risks of Failure
If a tree on your property develops a structural defect, it’s important not to rush to the assumption it should be removed. The key is determining whether or not the severity of an issue creates danger or risk. Not only should the risk of property damage be considered, the safety of nearby people must also be accounted for.
If a structural defect is severe, this increases the likelihood of failure, especially during severe weather. This can include a dying tree or a tree with dead or broken branches.
On the other hand, trees with moderate defects may not pose a risk at all if treated properly. However, it’s important to have any defects accessed by a certified arborist before letting nature take its course. Based on the unique situation of an individual tree, other options exist (aside from removal) that can decrease the likelihood of failure. These include tree pruning, windsail reduction, and deadwood removal.
Preventative Tree Care
Sometimes, simple preventative tree care can reduce any risks associated with tree defects. The removal of dead or weakly attached branches can immediately improve the safety of a tree. Tree pruning along with routine care will keep a tree healthy and better able to withstand the weight and force of gravity that is often responsible for toppling trees during extreme weather.
However, when an entire tree falls, the integrity of the roots or soil is often to blame. Alleviating soil problems can greatly improve growing conditions, enabling the development of a strong root system. Given the damage that can occur to a trees root system during construction, it’s important to cordon off large areas around a tree when work is being done nearby.
The sooner potential hazards are identified, the more likely any issues can be addressed, thereby saving a tree while minimizing the risk of potential failure. Nonetheless, severe defects identified by a certified arborist may warrant the removal of a tree to reduce the risk of property damage and harm to people nearby. Keep in mind, that this will always depend on an individual tree, its environment, and level of risk.
Whidbey Island Tree Care
While nature is unpredictable, the risk of tree failure is manageable. Sick or compromised trees can be removed to prevent unexpected failures that result in unexpected property damage or harm. Moderate defects can also be inspected to help gauge the health and integrity of a tree. Routine monitoring by a certified arborist will help to identify any potential threats while minimizing any unanticipated expenditures.
If you would like more information about the risks of tree failure, contact Westcoast Tree Care at 1.800.767.8733. Our certified arborist would be more than happy to assess the health and integrity of your trees and provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation quote for any of our preventative tree care services.