Predicting Tree Failure (Part 1)

The key to preventing damage in the Tri-Cities is to predict the things that could result in damage and take action to correct these problems before storms, high winds, or other types of problems strike. Look at the shape of the tree, current decay and its extent, maintenance involving the tree, the presence of roots, and existing problems. There may be other situations, but these factors are some of the most common.

Tree Shapes & Imperfections
Trees come in different shapes and sizes. Many trees suffer from natural form imperfections that lead to damage under stormy conditions. Having bark at branch unions is a common weak point in trees. Branch unions should have a rough, protruding branch bark ridge where the branches meet. Without this proper union, branches have a tendency to separate during storm situations. Trees may also have codominant leaders. This occurs when a tree has two or more branches or stems that are trying to become the center point of the tree. Codominant leaders typically exhibit inclusion at their unions.

Tree Decay
As trees age, they will naturally decay. Decay is the natural degradation of tree stem, branch, and root tissue. Any part of a tree that has decayed has very little strength and is the most common contributor to its failure. Location of decay within a tree is critical in assessing the tree’s potential for failure. Decay located within a single branch is not always a critical situation since weak branches can easily be removed. But decay located within the main part of the trunk can be dangerous. Determining the extent of decay within the tree determines the tree’s decay and potential to fail. For every 3 inches of branch or stem diameter, solid wood should comprise at least 1 to 1.5 inches. Anything less than that often indicates a branch or stem that is more likely to fail during a storm.

Keep In Mind
If you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree removal needs in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree removal service provider.