WHEN TREES BECOME HAZARDOUS
Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Trees are Mother Nature´s sages - strong, quiet and steady with their impressive height towering over the rest of the humble greenery. They are a veritable fortress and home for many minute life forms. Trees take on the role of protectors in the ecology of the forest. Trees seem to live forever, unchanging through the seasons…or do they?
´Widow Makers´ is a colloquial term for tree branches falling suddenly. The term needs no further explanation. There are news reports of people being in the wrong place at the wrong time – a falling branch sounds like an innocuous incident, yet it can cause great misfortune. A simple, enjoyable and innocent activity like bush walking, camping or simply standing under a tree beside a parked car could end in disaster because of hazardous trees.
Our modern towns and cities would be drab and sordid without the greenery of trees to add life to our massive spread of concrete blocks. However, we do not live in Legoland where elements are self-contained and are stacked neatly one next to another. For trees to inhabit our concrete landscape happily, urban planners and architects have to give due consideration to the placement of trees. The drainage system to prevent water logging, the amount of space that is available for tree roots to stretch and grow, making sure the power lines do not interfere with the growth of the tree are even more important considerations than the aesthetic value of trees on their surroundings.
It is not immediately evident when a tree is hazardous as we tend not to notice trees. They are there and have always been and will always be. Hazard Management is an important service that can help home and property owners ensure the area is safe and trees are assessed and taken care of. Having a professional come in to assess the safety of the trees on the property can help owners avoid legal and financial damage due to accidents that happen because of hazardous trees.
While humans take great pride in their crowning glory, trees are no different. We spare no expense spending hundreds at the hairdressers´ or luxurious hair products to keep our hair luscious, beautiful and healthy. A tree needs the same attention.
While falling ´dead´ hair only causes annoyance and disgust, falling dead branches on an ordinary day can cause severe damage to human life and property. Nature sends us its own messages but these symptoms could be too subtle for people to interpret.
Simple things we take for granted may well be serious warning signs. Extreme weather conditions are a red flag for owners with large trees on their property. The bigger the tree, the greater the risk of hazard especially after a windy storm or heavy snowfall.
Watch out for these warning signs and contact a professional to perform a check.
Dead branches in the crown
Excessive or sudden loss of leaves
Unusual leaning of the tree
Rotting areas or patches on the trunk
Bald spots on the bark
Fungi at the base of the tree
It is a cliché but a wise one - be safe, not sorry. It is our responsibility to care for the trees around us to ensure they can be enjoyed and not become a hazard.
What to do next
Ask for a qualified, experienced professional to complete an obligatory hazard identification checklist before starting any project to ensure optimal safety. Safe work methods are indispensable for the safety of the professionals, the property owners and for anyone who could be in the vicinity of the trees and property.
About Accomplished Tree Management: Tel 0411 443 535
Accomplished Tree Management is based in Port Macquarie and services the Mid North Coast. With over 16 years experience, we employ safe work methods and are certified with Australian AS 4373-2007-Pruning of Amenity Trees standards. We're fully insured with $20 million Public Liability and $5 million Professional Indemnity Insurance.
We provide the following tree services -
Tree management - tree removals, palm tree services, council permits
Tree and garden maintenance - hedging, pruning, deadwooding, stump grinding
Tree consultation - arboricultural reports, hazard assessment
When Trees become Hazardous is written by Vermilion Pinstripes, a sales marketing and communications agency based in Port Macquarie, Australia and Singapore helping businesses engage with customers so they can sell without selling.