How do Trees Speak?
Written by: Registered Consulting Arborist, Nathan Schuettpelz
Have you ever wondered if trees speak? It would be nice if a tree could knock on the door and say, “I am not feeling well”. I have come to learn that trees do speak. Trees provide clues through the way in which they grow. Arborists learn to interpret these clues to provide care options to the tree owner. Sometimes trees will speak directly, but a pleasant knock on the door is half of the tree falling on a home. That is a scenario we avoid through the application of a TRAQ assessment.
TRAQ, or Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, is training provided through the International Society of Arboriculture. During this course arborists learn how to assess the risk associated with trees. Following an assessment, arborists provide options that maintain a reasonable level of risk.
Many TRAQ assessments are basic or advanced. A basic assessment is a visual assessment from the ground. The advanced level will use additional equipment for a more comprehensive assessment. Our arborist will assess the roots, trunk, limbs, and canopy of the tree. We will look for signs or symptoms of weakness that elevate overall risk. The arborist will also look at nearby targets that the tree will impact. Targets are people or property that a failed tree part will impact, the likelihood of impact, and consequences. We will recommend management that will reduce severe consequences.
The photo in this article is an example of an advanced risk assessment. This arborist is using a tool to assess internal tree decay. Without this equipment, the arborist would not have been able to adequately measure the amount of tree decay. Wachtel Tree Science is committed to utilizing advanced assessment techniques to provide you accurate information.
Examples of management options include pruning dead tree limbs, supporting poor tree structure, or removing a tree. Sometimes restricting access to the tree will reduce risk, and sometimes we find that overall risk is low enough that management is not necessary. In the end, we can assure you that we have assessed all potential outcomes to provide reasonable management strategies.
As a tree owner, you assume the responsibility of maintaining a reasonable level of risk with the trees on your property. Keeping a TRAQ assessment report on file, and acting on the included recommendations, will establish a history of due diligence on your part as the tree owner in the event of an unforeseen failure.
Are there trees on your property that can benefit from a professional assessment? Contact Wachtel Tree Science today and let us provide you with peace of mind!