Without tree care, your trees could cause liability issues for you and your neighbors. Whether you are an individual property owner or you manage a homeowners’ association, trees provide many benefits and add value to the landscape. However, they can also present some serious problems if they’re not cared for properly. It’s important to reduce your liability by keeping your trees healthy.
Dealing with Dead Trees
Some of the liability problems are directly related to tree health. Dead or dying trees can be a problem and must be removed, especially if there is a potential for damage from a fallen tree branch. It’s more cost-effective to remove a tree before it completely dies and prevents a skilled arborist from climbing it safely. If it does become too dangerous to climb, other methods of removing the tree become necessary.
Structural problems of trees
Structural problems of trees can pose serious liability risk. These problems may develop from cracks in the supporting wood of a trunk or branch, large deadwood, heaving roots, lightning strikes, weak attached crotches, and other causes.
Here are a few things you can do to check the health of your trees:
- Have there been changes in leaf color?
- Are leaves and stems growing or stunted?
- Is there evidence of insect activity, especially on the trunk?
When to call the tree experts
In many instances, you can prevent a tree from dying in the first place if you consult with an expert. Arborists can diagnose and treat for disease and pest issues before they become life-threatening to the tree.
Trees should be pruned to allow adequate clearance from buildings, sidewalks, drives, roads and most man-made objects, particularly lights. Proper clearance leaves enough room for the wind to blow without branches hitting or interfering with anything. Pruning can prevent damage to both the tree and the object near it. It’s one of the ways you can reduce your liability.
How a tree inventory can reduce your liability
One way to keep track of your trees’ health is to have a Certified Arborist conduct a tree inventory. Tree inventories include recommendations to help you care for your trees long-term to help reduce your liability from dying or damaged trees.