In assessing and managing trees, there should be a balance between the benefits the tree provides and the risks it poses to the individual and the property.

Tree Heart

Trees provide many benefits to everyone living around them, whether in urban or rural areas. As the size and age of a tree increase, so too do the benefits it provides. An older, larger tree will add value to a property and help a homeowner reduce cooling costs. However, the same older, larger tree is also more likely to shed limbs, develop decay, or face other issues. Insects and disease, along with drought conditions, can cause a tree to fail.

A “hazardous tree” is defined as a tree with structural defects that will likely cause either some or all of the tree to fail. Hazardous defects that indicate a tree is failing are sometimes visible and include deadwood, cracks, weak branch unions, decay, cankers, and root problems. The main point of concern is the target; if the tree were to fail, what is potentially at risk? A target can be a home, building, automobile, or place where people gather, such as a play area in the yard.

Broken Branch
Man Cutting Branch

Tree inspections should be performed annually and can be done at any time of the year. To be thorough, trees should be inspected after leaves drop in the fall, after leaves come out in the spring, and after severe storms. Evaluating and treating hazardous trees is complicated and requires a certain knowledge and expertise, so contact a tree specialist for an inspection.

This article was crafted with the help of Odd Job, The Tree Specialists, an Atlanta expert in Tree Services. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area. Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.

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