Arboricultural Consultants Explain How to Deal With Dangerous Trees
Often times you will buy or rent a property with trees in the area. Sometimes these trees won’t stand up to the health test carried by arborists and as such, will need to be dealt with. It is important to note that you cannot just cut down a tree if you believe it is hazardous. You are obliged to ask for permission by your local council, unless the tree is regarded as dangerous, dying or is already dead.
However, if the tree in question is part of a Conservation Area or is included in some Tree Preservation Order, it is a good thing to give written notice several days before taking any action. As you and any arboricultural consultants identify a problem with trees, you need to provide proof that the tree was beyond any help. Few ways you can do this is by taking photographs, keeping some sections of decayed wood or any other relevant method of proof you can think of. Take special care of any bats in hollow and dead trees, as they are protected species.
Common concerns that you may have with your tree, which don’t necessarily mean something is wrong:
Too tall/big tree or tree with a broad crown – tall trees and trees with a broad crown aren’t dangerous per se, keep in mind. Some trees do grow tall, depending on what their type is. Furthermore, there may be outside stimuli, such as nearby structures, competition with other trees, soil, microclimate and a few others. With all factors concerned, a tree may end up reaching unhealthy dimensions, which may require further action.
Swaying in windy weather – all trees will sway in windy weather. Branches possess pliability, which is a natural mechanism for dealing with strong winds and is the only thing preventing fracture.
Leaning – a lot of trees grow with a lean, which isn’t a dangerous sign. Usually, when that happens, the tree will develop growth rings on the opposing side of the lean to balance it out. The main issue is when a vertical tree suddenly starts to lean.
Hollow tree – there are a lot of trees that have very little healthy tissue surrounding a hollow. However, it should be noted that some trees, while decaying on the inside, may still develop sapwood around the trunk, resulting in the formation of a cylinder. It may be strong enough to not warrant cutting, but this should be evaluated by an expert.
Know the difference between dangerous and defective trees. A lot of trees have some form of defect, which doesn’t mean they are dangerous. Defects take many forms: small decay pockets, minor dead wood or treatable fungal infection. It is important to note the severity of the defect and whether it makes the tree dangerous. For this reason, you can consult with arborists on site and then work out an action plan.
It is best to have any trees on your property inspected by professionals before taking further action. Arborists can tell you if a tree requires cutting down and can provide the necessary proof for this so you can have permission from the council.