Hazardous trees can cause severe damage to homes and property and even cause injuries to people walking by. Working with an arborist with advanced risk assessment qualifications can help you identify these risks, fulfill your “duty of care,” and reduce potential liability.
A risk assessment is a comprehensive inspection of the structural integrity of your trees. It involves looking at many different things that only an experienced arborist can do with confidence.
Identifying Potential Problems
A tree that falls can damage structures, block roadways, or cause fatal injuries. Arborists conduct various assessments to identify potential hazards and determine the best mitigation options for each situation. One such assessment is called a tree risk assessment, and it looks at the likelihood of a tree’s failure, what structures are directly under the tree, soil conditions, the tree’s overall health, wind exposure, etc.
During the risk assessment, arborists also consider factors like insect infestations, decay, internal structure issues, growing condition, and other factors contributing to failure. Arborists with TRAQ certification can complete these assessments according to a uniform procedure that enables them to post a comprehensive inspection report on their website.
This standardized reporting system helps ensure that an arborist can accurately identify a tree’s risk level. It also helps them meet their duty of care under municipal ordinances and case law.
Preventing Damage to Your Property
Trees are a beautiful part of your property, but they can also cause damage to structures and vehicles or harm people when they fall. A professional arborist can help you understand the condition of your trees and mitigate risk.
An arborist who has a TRAQ is trained in a systematic process to evaluate tree risk. They’ll look at the tree and identify defects, then judge how likely they will lead to failure. They’ll also consider the consequences of failure, which will weigh heavily in their assessment and mitigation recommendations.
A TRAQ also gives arborists a standard process for communicating risks in ways that are easy to understand. It ensures you can trust the arborist’s assessment and treatment, saving you money in inspections and treatments. In addition, it can help you fulfill your duty of care and reduce liability from tree-related damages.
Keeping Your Trees Healthy
Identifying and addressing problems with your trees can help prevent their failure, which could damage property. It can also help you avoid costly repairs and potential lawsuits for your negligence.
Arborists can help prevent damage by installing cables and bracing rods to support weak limbs and trunks. These must be inspected regularly to maintain effectiveness. Arborists can also add extra security by removing damaged bark on trunks and major limbs or adding root flares to reduce soil pressure against tree roots.
A level 2 basic assessment involves a complete visual inspection of a tree, including the surrounding area. It includes a detailed evaluation of the crown, trunk, and root system, using a checklist and a rubber mallet or seismograph to test for open cavities and voids in the wood.
Keeping Your Family Safe
A professional arborist will assess the safety of your property’s trees, removing any that pose a risk to people or structures. It ensures you enjoy your yard without worrying about a falling tree or its consequences.
Trees near homes, roads, public areas, or power lines present a greater risk than others. Arborists will determine if the hazard level is low, moderate, or high and recommend action based on their assessment.
Level 2 basic assessments require a visual observation of the entire tree or trees, including their surrounding area. The arborist will look for obvious structural defects in the crown, trunk, and roots. The arborist may also test the internal wood structure using tools like a rubber mallet and a seismograph, which detect cracks, cavities, or decay in the trunk’s interior.
Many states require property owners to inspect and maintain their trees. A professional arborist can help you fulfill legal obligations while preventing costly damage or injury.