Trees provide significant benefits to our homes and cities, but when trees fall and injure people or damage property, they are liabilities. Taking care of tree hazards makes your property safer and prolongs the life of the tree.
Trees are an important part of our world. They offer a wide range of benefits to the environment and provide tremendous beauty.
However, trees may be dangerous. Trees or parts of trees may fall and cause injury to people or damage to property. We call trees in such situations hazardous, to signify the risk involved with their presence. While every tree has the potential to fall, only a small number actually hit something or someone.
It is an owner’s responsibility to provide for the safety of trees on his or her property. This brochure provides some tips for identifying the common defects associated with tree hazards. However, evaluating the seriousness of these defects is best done by a professional arborist. Regular tree care will help identify hazardous trees and the risk they present. Once the hazard is recognized, steps may be taken to reduce the likelihood of the tree falling and injuring someone.
Trees that fall into utility lines have additional serious consequences. Not only can they injure people or property near the line, but hitting a line may cause power outages, surges, fires, and other damage. Downed lines still conducting electricity are especially dangerous. A tree with a potential to fall into a utility line is a very serious situation.
Consider these questions:
The following are defects or signs of possible defects in urban trees (see figure):
The following are defects or signs of possible defects in rural trees (see figure):
An arborist can help you manage the trees on your property and can provide treatments that may help make your tree safer, reducing the risk associated with hazardous trees. An arborist familiar with hazard tree evaluation may suggest one or more of the following:
Recognizing and reducing tree hazards not only increases the safety of your property and that of your neighbors but also improve the tree’s health and may increase its longevity!
Ensuring Quality Care for Your Tree
Trees are assets to your home and community and deserve the best possible care. If you answered “yes” to any of the questions in the tree hazard checklist or see any of the defects contained in the illustrations, your tree should be examined by an ISA Certified Arborist.
For a list of ISA Certified Arborists in your area, please visit www.treesaregood.com. If your tree is located near a power line, contact your local electrical utility.
E-mail inquiries: [email protected]
(c) 1998, 2004 International Society of Arboriculture.
UPDATED JULY 2005
Developed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), a non-profit organization supporting tree care research around the world and is dedicated to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees. For further information, contact:
ISA, P.O. Box 3129, Champaign, IL 61826-3129, USA.
E-mail inquires: [email protected]
© 2007 International Society of Arboriculture.
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2005
Tree trimming should be done by trained professionals that practice the ISA standards. Non-trained professionals tend to over prune or cut branches in the wrong place.Learn More
Tree removal can be very dangerous so always use a professional. There are many hazards involved such as power lines, houses, fences, and bodily injury so only use professionals.Learn More
Hazardous Limb Removal
From time to time limbs may have to be removed because they become hazardous like hanging too close to your house, over a power line or they are weak and rotted.Learn More
24/7 Emergency Service
Emergency service for wind damage, trees falling or lightning; we will respond any hour of the day or night to ensure your safety.Learn More
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