Hazardous Trees

Tree health, and the structural integrity of the tree, are not one and the same. In other words, a tree with a robust outward appearance may be a hazardous tree. Trees with a full, healthy canopy may be structurally weak. It is prudent to have a certified arborist perform a landscape inspection if you own mature trees. Even small tree branches can damage property if they fall from a mature tree.
A property owner is responsible for the trees in their landscape. Failure to act in a diligent manner may make the tree owner liable for injury or damage caused by a hazardous tree.
The certified arborists at Owen Tree Service are skilled in recognizing the signs of a hazardous tree. Sometimes tree pruning can alleviate a hazardous condition. In other situations cabling or bracing can reduce the risks associated with hazardous trees. If necessary, tree removal is recommended.
Trees are living organisms that can be attacked by a variety of insect pests and disease pests as well as being subjected to the forces of nature. Even healthy trees can be blown over if the force of the wind is great enough.
Despite these variables, it is sometimes possible to determine, within a range, the structural integrity of a tree, a level of risk associated with the tree, and if the tree could be considered a hazardous tree. In addition to the trees’ outward appearance, we sometimes use an instrument called a Resistograph®. This highly specialized instrument can be used to find, and measure, internal decay in the tree or other structural tree defects that aren’t obvious.

Hazardous Tree Assessment

Below is a quick reference to evaluating potentially hazardous trees. This list is not all inclusive, but it gives a tree owner an idea of what certified arborists check for when predicting tree failure and determining if a tree could be considered a hazardous tree. When in doubt as to the extent of internal decay in a tree, advanced testing techniques and tree care equipment may be needed.
The presence of dead tree roots increases the potential for structural failure of the tree. Often trees can survive with only a portion of their root system operational, but the structural stability of the tree is compromised.
It is important to know that trees do not repair injuries. They use a process referred to as ‘compartmentalization of decay in trees’ (CODIT) and simply respond to wounds by “walling off” the affected area of the tree to limit the spread of infection or disease. What this means in evaluating potentially hazardous trees is that trees compile injuries over time and as disease or decay progresses it can structurally weaken the tree.
It often less costly to have a hazardous tree removed prior to a failure than to wait for the hazardous tree to fall. Waiting until it’s too late not only puts people and property in danger, but some tree service companies charge more for “emergency” tree removal than for a scheduled tree removal.
Hazardous trees pose a liability to the owner of the tree. Failure to perform periodic inspections for hazardous trees may be classified as negligence and, in the event of an injury or property damage, litigation may follow. If you suspect there is a hazardous tree on your property, or there are multiple mature trees on your property, it is prudent to have a Certified Arborist perform periodic inspections. Tree inspections allow you to identify hazardous trees under your care, plan for timely removal of hazardous trees, budget for removal of hazardous trees, plan and schedule remedial action to eliminate or minimize a hazardous condition and identify trees that aren’t hazardous trees but may be in need of extra care.
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Tree, Lawn, or Landscape Question or Service Needed
Owen Tree Service provides tree, lawn, and landscape services to the following cities and towns:
Genesee County, Michigan:
● Burton
● Davison
● Flushing
● Goodrich
● Linden
● Otisville
● Clio
● Fenton
● Gaines
● Grand Blanc
● Montrose
● Otter Lake
● Flint
● Genesee
● Lennon
● Mt Morris
● Swartz Creek
Lapeer County, Michigan:
● Almont
● Brown City
● Columbiaville
● Imlay City
● Metamora
● Peck
● Attica
● Clifford
● Dryden
● Lapeer
● North Branch
● Sandusky
● Hadley
● Mayville
● Otter Lake
● Silverwood
Macomb County, Michigan:
● Armada
● Clinton Twp
● Grosse Pointe
● Macomb
● New Haven
● St Clair Shores
● Centerline
● Detroit
● Grosse Pointe Farms
● Ray
● Sterling Heights
● Chesterfield
● Eastpointe
● Grosse Pointe Shores
● Memphis
● Romeo
● Utica
● Clinton
● Fraser
● Grosse Pointe Woods
● Mt Clemens
● Roseville
● Warren
● Harrison Twp
● New Baltimore
● Shelby Twp
● Washington
Oakland County, Michigan:
● Auburn Hills
● Bloomfield Village
● Ferndale
● Leonard
● Orion
● South Lyon
● Berkley
● Clarkston
● Franklin
● Madison Heights
● Ortonville
● Southfield
● Beverly Hills
● Clawson
● Hazel Park
● Milford
● Oxford
● Troy
● Bingham Farms
● Commerce Twp
● Highland
● Novi
● Pleasant Ridge
● Walled Lake
● Birmingham
● Davisburg
● Holly
● Oak Park
● Pontiac
● Waterford
● Bloomfield
● Detroit
● Huntington Woods
● Oakland
● Rochester
● West Bloomfield
● Bloomfield Hills
● Farmington
● Lake Orion
● Oakland Twp
● Rochester Hills
● White Lake
● Farmington Hills
● Lathrup Village
● Orchard Lake
● Royal Oak
● Wixom
St. Clair County, Michigan:
● Algonac
● Casco
● East China
● Harbor Beach
● Lexington
● Peck
● Allenton
● Clay
● Emmett
● Harsens Island
● Marine City
● Port Huron
● Berlin
● Clyde
● Fair Haven
● Jeddo
● Marysville
● Richmond
● Brockway
● Columbus
● Fort Gratiot
● Kimball
● Memphis
● Sandusky
● Capac
● Cottrellville
● Goodells
● Lakeport
● North Street
● St Clair
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