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Spotting Tree Risks On Seattle Property

Spotting tree risks is crucial as we enter the winter storm season with its high winds and heavy rains.  While trees are an asset, they can also be a liability if not cared for properly.

Assessing tree risks

Every tree has the potential to topple and/or cause injury though only a small number cause damage by hitting a person or property.  Our goal is to give you the right information so you can identify which trees are most likely to present problems thereby decreasing the chance of damage.

For example, trees near utility lines pose an especially serious threat that should not be taken lightly.  In addition to falling and hurting people and/or damaging property, you have the added danger of power outages and fires. 

Downed lines may still be live (conducting electricity) and it’s imperative that you call the power company ASAP.  You (and everyone) need to stay away from the area until their team of professionals arrive to safely deal with it.

Who’s qualified to best assess risk?

Many ISA Certified Arborist on the Eastside Tree Works staff have an additional certification known as TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualification).  This means they have completed a course on recognizing tree risks, appropriate protocols for dealing with the risks and implementing procedures to mitigate any risks.

Tree risk checklist

Spotting tree risks is easier when you answer these questions about the trees on your property.

Identifying defects in urban trees

Look for these defects or signs of possible defects in trees found in urban settings.

Defects in rural trees

If you live in a rural area, look for these indicators or possible defects that increase the risk of failure.

Managing tree risk

If you have a tree (or trees) that have some of these indicators, we recommend consulting a Certified Arborist.  The following are suggestions our arborists may give to manage risk and decrease failure. 

While you can’t move your home or power lines, you can move other possible targets like tables, cars, and landscaping features (water fountains, bird baths, etc.).  Pruning the tree of dead or dying branches and removal (if deemed that it’s a high risk).

Many times, providing routine care is the best course of action.  For example, making sure the tree has proper water, nutrients and pruning to keep it strong and healthy will lower the risk of failure.

If you answered yes to any of the tree risk questions, please contact Eastside Tree Works.  One of our ISA Certified Arborist will examine the tree(s) in question and offer you professional recommendations to lower your risk.