Our beloved trees have had a hard two years. Between the drought and not watering our lawns, the trees have taken a beating. Now is a good time to inspect your trees and fix any problems before winter.
Inspect for the seven common structural defects. Always inspect the trees before and after stormy weather. Do not climb the trees to inspect them. If closer inspection is needed, consult an arborist.
Be aware of nearby power lines. It takes an arborist to correct most hazardous defects, especially if the tree is large.
Stand back and look at the whole tree. Thoroughly inspect for structural defects (any split in the wood is hazardous) in the following order.
— Lean – Has the vertical axis of the tree changed?
— Multiple trunks – Inspect where the trunks meet.
— Weakly attached branches – Inspect branches larger than three inches at the point where they attach to the trunk.
— Cavities and decay – Location and size determine hazard.
— Trunk and branch cracks – Be concerned if the crack extends into the wood.
— Hanging or broken branches – Remove as soon as possible.
— Dean branches – Remove as soon as possible.
Taking care of our trees is a wise investment. Remember, trees are a long term investment and add value to our property. ■