Should the Woodsman Spare Your Trees?

By Jan Jackson –

An arborist would have recognized the scar up the side of this tree as a sign that it could fall.

Are you paying attention to whether or not the trees growing around your house are safe? Too often, people do nothing more than enjoy their shade and admire their beauty.

Since my neighbor’s 80-foot Douglas fir tree just fell on my house, I wish they had paid more attention to its health. Fortunately, we weren’t home at the time, so we were not injured. Because it was covered by insurance, we will not be out the $45,000-plus it is going to take to repair the damage.

If you or your neighbor have a tree that could fall on someone’s house, you have an obligation to do everything in your power to see that it doesn’t.

How do you do that? Read on.

The likelihood is, an arborist would have known that this tree’s roots were rotten and that one good puff of wind could/would bring it down.

A few signs of a decaying tree:

■  Dead leaves clinging to branches of deciduous trees through the winter. On healthy trees, they should fall to the ground.

■  A tree that is beginning to lean, or has bare branches on one side, may have root damage.

■  Vertical cracks, or seams, on the trunk.

■   Areas of smooth wood where bark has fallen off. In healthy trees, new bark would grow in its place.

■  Small branches sprouting from the base of a tree.

Who can I call:

While loggers and foresters are keeping our public and commercial forests well managed and safe (through organizations like Association of Oregon Loggers and our Department of Forestry), you  need to search your area for a certified/licensed arborist.

Along with the beauty trees provide, comes your responsibility to make sure they are healthy. Call your local tree service and ask to speak to an arborist. If they don’t have one on staff, they will know who does.

Photos by Jan Jackson





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