Recently, a storm burst resulted in a fair amount of tree failure throughout the city. When trees break apart in our city, there is nearly always a resulting consequence such as downed power lines, damaged homes, obstructed roads/walkways and even bodily injury. While these storms cannot be avoided, we can greatly reduce the likelihood of tree failure through regular preventative maintenance.

The weakest parts of the tree will always break first. This will include dead branches, limbs with cavities and decay, long lanky branches, branches that are poorly attached to the main trunk and weak, poorly developed roots.

Trees need to be inspected regularly by an arborist to identify these defects, which can be mitigated. Trees can be pruned to remove defects and to improve the overall structure of the tree making them more storm resistant. Branches can be reinforced with cables, and root systems can be strengthened through soil aeration and amendment.

It is important that we do not rush to tree removal as the remedy. In some cases trees will need to be removed but more frequently in these storm events, we see failures of specific tree parts, which should not condemn the tree in its entirety. Trees must be properly managed, as they are vital to the overall well being of our cities.