Trees add to our enjoyment of outdoor experiences whether in forests, parks, or urban landscapes. Too often, we are unaware of the risks associated with defective trees, which can cause personal injury and property damage. Interest in hazard tree management has increased in recent years due to safety and liability concerns resulting from preventable accidents. Recognizing hazardous trees and taking proper corrective actions can protect property and save lives.
A “hazard tree” is a tree with structural defects likely to cause failure of all or part of the tree, which could strike a “target.” A target can be a vehicle, building, or a place where people gather such as a park bench, picnic table, street, or backyard.
Because of the natural variability of trees, the severity of their defects, and the different sites upon which they grow, evaluating trees for hazardous defects can be a complex process. This publication presents guidelines, not absolute rules for recognizing and correcting hazardous defects. When in doubt, consult our arborists at WC Tree Service.