As we know, trees are ubiquitous and necessary for a healthy environment. However, they require regular inspection and care to remain healthy and reduce the likelihood of becoming a factor in a dangerous condition claim.
Trees become “at risk” when they’ve been compromised due to disease, decay, physical damage or a host of other factors. Any or all of which can lead to a partial or complete failure of the tree structure which could result in part or all of the tree falling on a target and causing severe harm or damage.
To reduce the risks urban forests present, a documented tree risk analysis and management strategy are required. Each agency should define their risk exposure and identify the strategy to address the issues unique to their community (agency approved policy) with the resources available to them.
Inspectors/assessors should be qualified and if not a trained/certified arborist, operating under the guidance or supervision of one to ensure the integrity of the process.
Below are a few resources that may be helpful:
- Tree Risk Management Guide - Purdue University
- The University of Hawaii has put together a guide on doing a Basic Tree Risk Assessment Guide – University of Hawaii in conjunction with materials obtained from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
- West Coast Arborists, Inc.
- Managing Hazardous Tree Risk and Safety – EIAtv webcast
Please feel free to contact EIA Risk Control for more information.