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Understanding the Basics of Tree Risk Assessment: A Simple Guide

Trees are more than just pretty scenery; they're part of what makes New Zealand so special. But like anything living, they need a little TLC to stay safe and healthy. Here's a handy guide to help you keep an eye on your trees and spot any potential risks.


A tree doctor assessing the health of a large tree

Why Tree Risk Assessment Matters

We love our trees, but sometimes they can pose risks we might not notice at first glance. Here's why tree risk assessment is so important:

  1. Safety First: Weak or sick trees can be dangerous, especially during storms or strong winds. Assessing them helps keep everyone safe.

  2. Protect Your Stuff: Falling branches or trees can damage buildings, cars, and anything else in their path. Regular checks can prevent costly accidents.

  3. Nature's Balance: By assessing trees carefully, we can make sure we're only interfering when necessary, keeping our environment in harmony.


Signs to Watch For

Spotting potential problems early is key. Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. Hollow Spots: Big holes or hollow areas in the trunk or major branches can weaken the tree.

  2. Cracks: Any cracks in the trunk or branches could mean trouble brewing.

  3. Dead Branches: If branches look dead or are hanging oddly, they might come down unexpectedly.

  4. Leaning: Trees leaning too much to one side without strong root support might topple over.

  5. Fungi Friends: Mushrooms or odd growths on the tree could be a sign of decay.

  6. Root Issues: Visible damage to roots, like girdling or exposed roots, can compromise stability.


How to Assess Tree Risk

  1. Take a Good Look: Step back and visually inspect the tree. Look for anything that seems off or different from before.

  2. Get Up Close: Move in closer to check specific areas, like the trunk, branches, and roots. Binoculars can help if it's a tall tree.

  3. Check the Surroundings: Consider what's around the tree—buildings, power lines, or foot traffic. Think about potential risks based on where the tree is.

  4. Ask for Help: If you're not sure, get advice from Axeman Trees Ltd. We can give you the lowdown on what's what.

  5. Weigh the Risks: Based on what you've seen and what the expert says, decide how risky the tree is. Figure out if it needs immediate attention or can wait a bit.

  6. Make a Plan: Once you know what's up, come up with a plan. It might mean regular check-ups, some pruning, or even saying goodbye to the tree if it's too risky.


Wrapping It Up

Taking care of our trees is part of taking care of our homes and communities. With a little know-how and attention, we can keep enjoying the beauty of New Zealand's trees while keeping everyone safe and sound. Give us a call anytime at Axeman Trees Ltd, for a free assessment and quote.

man assessing tree health from a cherry picker lift


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