We often talk about the importance of having trees inspected by a qualified arborist in order to maintain their health and safety. But what does this inspection involved, and what does the arborist look for? A comprehensive tree inspection means carefully examining the state of the tree from the crown all the way down to the roots. Today, we’ll discuss what an arborist looks for and evaluates during this crucial inspection.
Let’s start with the crown, or canopy, of the tree. First, the arborist will assess the overall vigor of the tree. Does the tree look like it is growing well, healthy, and free of stress factors? Or, does the tree appear weak and seem to be growing more slowly than expected? Additionally, the size and color of the foliage are indicators of the tree’s health. Areas of the tree with dead or discolored foliage may be cause for concern. The arborist will also assess the crown of the tree for pests, damage, and common problems associated with that particular species of tree. A close assessment of the crown will also evaluate the health and condition of the branches, looking for dead, cracked, or broken limbs.
After a close inspection of the crown, the arborist will move on to an inspection of the trunk of the tree. The trunk can tell us a lot about the overall health of the specimen. The appearance of the bark will be examined for color and texture and any areas of dead or missing bark will be noted. The arborist will also look for cracks, damage, decay, mushroom and other fungal growth, oozing sap, galls, and cavities. Any lean to the the trunk is an important characteristic as it could indicate a risk of falling during extreme weather.
Finally, the arborist will inspect the root crown and roots of the tree. This may require a small amount of digging or removal of debris from around the base of the tree. Again, signs of pests, fungal growth, and damage will be noted. Additionally, the arborist will assess the condition of the soil around the roots to make sure it isn’t too weak to securely anchor the tree. Any cracking or lifting of the soil, which indicate shifting of the tree in high wind, will also be taken into account.
Once the arborist has a complete picture of the overall health and status of the tree, he or she can give you an accurate idea of any risk factors associated with the tree. How likely is it to fall or drop large limbs? Is it at risk from disease or pests and does it need to be pruned or otherwise serviced? Should it be removed? A root to crown inspection will answer all of these questions and help guide you on the needs of your trees, including what you can expect down the road!