On Your Side: Tree Tribulations

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

News 12 at 6, July 12, 2007

Martinez--There are some things you can do to keep your trees from becoming a danger during a storm.

To most of us, a tree is a tree.

If it doesn't look like one out of Sleepy Hollow, then it's fine, right?

Not necessarily and if you're not getting your trees checked out regularly, you could end up with one on your roof.

"It was definitely a big cedar crack and it came down,” Tom Ayres said while pointing to the tree on his roof.

Wednesday's storms brought a big surprise for Tom in the form of his neighbor's tree becoming a new roof decoration.

So he called a company he's well familiar with, Empire Tree Service to deal with the problem.

Tom was somewhat surprised because he gets his trees checked out by Empire at least once a year, just to be safe.

"There's a tendency to think if they're older, they're gonna live forever," Tom said.

This tree slipped through the cracks, but Tom knows if he wasn't getting his other trees inspected regularly, it could have been worse.

Tree problems can go way beyond what your eye can spot and that's why you need a certified arborist.

"So they don't get caught in a situation with storm damaged trees on their house. They need to look for signs of weakness in the trees." Certified Arborist Tom Shively of Empire Tree Service said.

That's where you can help in at least keeping an eye on things. Look for dead branches near the top of the tree. Also watch for mushrooms near the base of the tree because they can be an indication of rotting roots.

Or like with Tom's tree, look for any indications of decay on the tree itself.

If you see any of that, call a tree service with a certified arborist.

Because as Tom knows, if you don't, things can get a little messy.

"Mother nature has a way of playing tricks on us," Ayres said.

Something many of you might know, if your neighbor's tree falls into your yard or your home, it is your responsibility to pay for the clean-up.

But Empire Tree Service says you should get that tree inspected and send a certified letter to your neighbor asking them to cut it down.

If they don't, there's a good chance they'll have to pay for the damage should it fall.

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