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Too many homeowners can relate to the following story:

Danielle had just finished putting her two young children to bed when she heard a resounding boom from outside. Assuming it to be thunder from the ongoing storm, she discovered otherwise when a loud crash in the master bedroom followed seconds later. A nearby tree limb had cracked in the wind and struck the house, shattering a window and crushing the patio railing.

When Darin and Danielle built their house two years earlier, they consulted both the builder and an arborist regarding potential natural hazards. As the house rests at the foot of a steep wooded hill, the couple were advised to remove a few trees in the backyard. No one had identified the tree that fell during the storm as a threat. After removing the recommended trees, the couple considered their property safe.

“We trusted the recommendations we’d received originally,” Danielle said. “We wish we had sought out additional opinions on the trees prior to building as removal would have been much easier.”

Building in a wooded area can prove as challenging as threading a needle, which is why it is vital to conduct a thorough Tree Risk Assessment in order to prevent similar disasters.

Always remember that construction inevitably damages the root system of nearby trees. Every tree has a drip line, which is the ground area from which the tree draws water and nutrients. Drip lines extend much further than most builders realize, making it difficult to predict which trees will suffer, and unfortunately root damage doesn’t visibly manifest itself until two to three years after construction.

Because of this it’s important to have a Tree Risk Assessment performed by a qualified arborist prior to building. The arborist should take four details into account:

  • The condition of the surrounding trees
  • The “target” that a fallen tree or limb could strike
  • The occupancy rate of the target
  • The value of the target

Not all arborists are qualified to give this assessment, so before building be sure to have your property examined by an arborist who is ISA certified to conduct Tree Risk Assessments. And as always, multiple opinions from qualified arborists will give you fuller picture.

To schedule your Tree Risk Assessment with the certified arborists at Treeworks, Inc., submit your request now or call 616.837.1100.

We look forward to serving you!

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