How to Have Hearty and High-Reaching Trees

Two Ways To Determine Whether Your Tree Will Survive A Harsh Winter

In July 2015, Queensland got to experience the unusual treat of snow which this state very rarely sees. While it is fun to watch your kids outside building a snowman for a change, these freezing temperatures also put a lot of stress on your gardens. Trees that are already compromised by disease or old age could be hazardous when they strain under the weight of snow. Branches that fall onto roofs or sheds will do damage. So how do you decide if your tree needs to come down before spring when it is in a dormant state? There are two main ways a professional tree service can answer this question for you.

Visual Inspection

If you suspect your tree is in trouble, you must get it examined quickly. All it takes is one more strong winter storm to push the tree over and cause damage. During the visual inspection, the arborist will look at a number of different areas.

  • Healthy branches bend without snapping, but brittle branches break away easily in the inspector's hand. These are dangerous as they will fall without warning.
  • The connection between the branch and the trunk must be strong to hold the weight of the branch off the ground and also for vital nutrients to travel up the branch and keep it alive and healthy. A connection that is damaged leads to a brittle branch that must be removed.
  • Splits in the tree trunk are another indicator the tree is unhealthy. This could be because of internal decay, which is not clearly visible to the naked eye.

Tree Ultrasound

To take the inspection of the tree one step further, an ultrasound may be needed to support the suspicion internal decay is killing your tree. A Picus Sonic Tomograph is a portable ultrasound device that uses sound waves to look at the inside of the tree.

The device sends back a map of the tree which shows cavities, diseased areas and healthy parts. This map can be used to make the determination whether the tree can be nursed back to health or whether it should be chopped down. Because the ultrasound results are instant, a tree that is in danger of falling can be removed right after the test if it is necessary.

Don't go through a whole winter with a sick tree in your backyard. Get a professional to check it out if you have concerns and avoid the chance of it falling on something or someone.