Hazardous Tree Evaluation and Management

Hazardous TreesAdequate hazard tree evaluation is an ethical and, in some cases, legal obligation upon tree owners and managers of tree populations. It basically involves assessment of the individual tree or group of trees by a professional arborist to evaluate the level of risk posed and, if necessary, provide recommendations as to how to manage that risk.

A hazard assessment may be required after a tree has suffered a major limb failure or displays other worrying traits such as limbs or trunks splitting or the ground around the base heaving during or after a storm event. The common (and most realistic) solution in the majority of these cases is complete removal of the tree(s) as the damage is normally too extensive to be practically or safely remedied. That said, other options are often possible in many situations. Remedial pruning works may be appropriate to prolong the useful life expectancy of a damaged tree or it may be feasible to isolate the tree so as to exclude people from the immediate area whilst allowing nature to take its course. Whatever option Tree3 Ltd recommends, the decision will take into account the circumstances surrounding each case and be underpinned by extensive experience in the management of hazard trees where people and property are concerned.

Unfortunately trees are sometimes poorly managed, either by misinformed but genuine intent by the owner or by inappropriate prescriptions and / or shoddy work by a contractor. In many cases this results in complete tree removal as being  the only realistic management option. Appropriate management recommendations which take into account the long term future of the tree/s are the key component in a tree management regime to ensure their useful life expectancy is maximised. Sometimes this requires what appear to be harsh pruning options however this is often the only way to re-establish a viable canopy framework that will fit within the spatial limitations typical of so many urban sites. Many decision-makers are unwilling to make such decisions however sometimes these hard choices have to be made if the tree is to have any kind of future. Here at Tree3 Ltd we are not afraid of making these calls if we think it is in the best interests of the long term integrity of the tree. We have been doing it for over thirty years and have a great deal of experience about these kind of management prescriptions and the ongoing implications and responses. Unfortunately we cannot always guarantee that  decision-makers are up to the task.

Tree3 Ltd maintains that inspection by a professional arborist can in many cases identify potential problems before they manifest themselves through partial or entire tree failure. Once potential problems have been identified it is often possible to carry out remedial works that will reduce the likelihood of any structural failures or harm events occurring, or simply prolong the useful life expectancy of a tree or group of trees.

Hazard tree evaluation often means hard and unpopular decisions have to be made where significant trees are concerned; such decisions will only retain credibility and integrity if handled with the utmost professionalism and are based upon extensive knowledge and experience. These are core values for all the work Tree3 Ltd undertakes and every decision is made on the understanding that we may have to defend it in court one day.

Prudent management of trees can often predict and avoid many tree problems however such problems cannot always be identified in advance and difficult decisions have to be made. Tree3 Ltd specialises in dealing with potentially sensitive or contentious issues by consistent application of pragmatic, objective, experience-based assessments and provision of realistic recommendations.

In short, hazard tree evaluation involves an evaluation of the useful life expectancy of a tree (or group of trees) based on an assessment of relevant factors which is subsequently used to provide an informed, robust and realistic solution to meet the requirements of the relevant stakeholders.

Tree3 Ltd has provided such evaluations for a wide range of clients including school principals or boards of trustees, council parks managers, lawyers, insurance companies and individual tree owners.

Contact us today for more information about evaluating and managing potentially hazardous trees on your property.