With last Tuesday’s tornado watch, heavy winds and rainfall throughout the day in Athens, it is important to consider the potentially adverse effects of inclement weather on the strength and structural stability of the trees surrounding your home. According to the International Society of Arboriculture’s Tree Risk Assessment Manual, “Most tree failures occur during periods of adverse weather – wind or ice storms, blizzards, or heavy rains coupled with strong winds.”
While oftentimes a seemingly healthy tree can fail without warning, a highly trained certified arborist may be able to spot site factors or conditions which could potentially cause tree or limb failure, and make informed recommendations based upon his or her observations. Depending on the tree and site analysis, your arborist may then recommend having a tree crew perform work to ANSI and ISA standards to help mitigate that risk.
Some things an arborist may look for would include:
- “Evidence of past tree failures (branch, trunk, root, and soil) and possible cause (windthrow, snapping, crown failure, root disease, and waterlogged ground)
- Wind exposure, including changes to wind patterns or exposure
- Recent exposure of forest trees from clearing for new development or storm damage that has opened up a new edge
- Site changes that may have altered wind and/or sunlight exposure
- Evidence of flooding, drought, or standing water
- Indicators of changes in soil hydrology (lowering or raising of the water table)
- Evidence of disturbances such as trenching, excavation, filling (placement of fill materials or alteration of native soil grades), compaction, and any other construction damage that might have caused injury to root systems
- Soil conditions and factors affecting the trees, such as frequency of saturation; compaction; erosion; textural gradients; restrictions to root growth from shallow, impermeable layers; and restrictions by roads, rock, urban infrastructure, or building foundations”
- (International Society of Arboriculture Tree Risk Assessment Manual, 2013).
Based upon these site observations, your arborist may recommend a combination of pruning service, cable and bracing, lightning protection system installation, or complete tree removal. With winter just around the corner, you can call New Urban Forestry today to set up a free consultation appointment and have one of our ISA Certified Arborists provide recommendations to keep you and your trees healthy and safe.