When is a healthy tree a dangerous tree?

When is a healthy tree a dangerous tree?

We want to tell you about a project we tackled just before Christmas 2022. We share this story because it could be relevant to you. A tree can appear healthy on the outside and yet be structurally unstable. For safety’s sake, it’s critical that you determine if a tree is in trouble no matter how robust it looks.

For 15 years, we have taken care of a homeowner’s property, including the trees at his home in a Charlotte neighborhood known for its canopy. That include a 100-year-old oak tree in the front yard – 120 feet tall, weighing 80 tons or more. It appeared healthy. But when recent rains washed away soil at the base of the tree it revealed a crevice six to eight inches in diameter. Look at the accompanying photograph. To determine the structural stability of the tree, we used a resistograph. Driven by a drill motor, a long, thin needle is inserted into multiple areas of a tree to measure its density and determine the level of decay. In this case, the tree was hollow. There is no cure for that.

John Maurice, our Tree Care Operations Manager, reiterates: “Seeing green leaves on a tree doesn’t mean there isn’t decay or that something isn’t going on with the tree.”

This sort of thing is no one’s fault. In matters regarding Mother Nature, it happens.

Wondering about your trees?

Brush away soil at the base of the tree to see if there are crevices. Examine the tree for cracks that might be visible to the naked eye. Look for giant mushrooms at the base. This might indicate root rot. John says they could be as large as two feet by two feet. Their odd appearance should raise a red flag. You can also take a rubber mallet and lightly tap the tree. You might be able to detect a hollow sound. John compares it to the sound of a bass drum. The best advice is to call Arborscapes. One of our Certified Tree Arborists will come out and examine the tree.

Hopefully you’ll get an all clear.

If not, Arborscapes can remove the tree before it falls onto a house, car, the street or worse. Ask yourself: “If the tree fell, what would happen?”

It took three days to remove the tree from the yard of our long-time customer. He took photographs. He lamented the loss. But he knew it was done for the right reasons.

Have questions about one of your trees? Need our help? We have Certified Master Arborists who can help get you the answers and advice you need. Call (704) 525-7148 today.

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