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What to look out for when checking your trees

Health and safety for people/property is centered on ensuring the tree or parts of the tree do not fail and cause potential damage.

Trees in need of care might send out an SOS for a number of reasons

For the purpose of simplicity with reference to tree care work, I will use three broad categories in this blog: health and safety for people/property, health and safety of the tree, they pose a nuisance factor.

Even healthy trees can fail, however, a compromised tree can fail under much calmer conditions.

Signs that a tree may be compromised and need tree care include:

  • Cracks in the soil surrounding the tree, or movement at the roots of the tree
  • Fungal fruiting bodies (mushrooms) on or near the tree
  • Cracks in the bark or wood of the tree
  • Loose or peeling bark
  • Dead or diseased branches, or the entire tree is dead
  • Less leaves than normal, or the leaves are a different colour
  • Broken or hanging branches

Tree health and safety 101: What to look out for when checking your trees

Health and safety of the tree is concerned with taking measures to encourage the useful longevity of the tree by preventing the development of faults or dysfunction.  It is about identifying hazards or potential hazards early so they do not develop into major flaws that require the tree to be removed or disfigured.

There is some crossover here with the above list but additional signs to look for could be:

  • Overly heavy or extended limbs
  • Heavily unbalanced canopies
  • Strong leans of the trunk
  • Very dense canopies
  • Changes in protection from other trees or buildings
  • Changes in land use around the tree, excavations, building etc.

When do trees become a nuisance?

Nuisance factors are when the tree is not necessarily a health and safety risk but it is posing some other problem such as rubbing on a building, restricting a view, restricting access, close to power lines etc.

Signs to look out for here are:

  • Proximity to buildings or other structures
  • Low hanging branches
  • Proximity to power or phone lines
  • Overly shaded or damp gardens or areas around trees
  • Cracks/lifting in pavements, patios or driveways
  • Blocked gutters or drains

Tree in a storm

*This content may have been edited for style and length purposes

Source: Tree Care Aukland

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