This time of year an inspection of all parts of the tree—from the root zone to the branches – is a good way to determine if there are any structural concerns that may predispose a tree to failure. High winds or other weather factors can cause breakage of large limbs, and exert forces on buttress roots that can cause the tree to partially uproot. This damage may be difficult to detect, but arborists know to look for changes in the lean of the tree trunk and soil mounding and/or soil cracking around the root flare. If there is evidence of root failure, pruning to reduce crown size may be necessary; if root damage is severe, removal may be required. Storms can also cause cracks to develop in branches and stems. This is of particular concern if decay is present. Removing cracked and damaged branches or pruning and installing supplemental support cables are possible treatments for storm-damaged branches and stems. Broken and hanging branches are generally easy to detect and removal through normal pruning is the obvious solution. Inspection now by a Certified Arborist not only allows detection and correction of storm damage concerns, but is an opportunity for plant health to be assessed. If trees “leafed” out slowly or if foliage is small or sparse, the cause of the health concern can be assessed and a treatment plan developed to promote better plant health.

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