According to OSHA, nearly 100 deaths occur every year from tree fall-related injuries. People such as arborists and manual labors who work near huge old trees have the highest risk of getting affected by these type of injuries.
After years of research, it was concluded that dead trees are one of the most common causes of these kinds of accidents.
Identifying the problem in trees
To our naked eyes, a tree may look fine but upon deep investigation, you may find there are some defects within the tree which may lead to major accidents
Here are some easy tips to identify the problem in the tree
- You must watch out for any dead branches or limbs on the tree. Dead limbs are considered as warning signs for future accidents.
- If you find any tree with cavities, disfiguration or fungus infection, then it might be an indication that the tree is decaying. The Forest Service Department is responsible for calculating the level of decay. If the decay is more than the specified level, then the tree is marked as a hazardous tree
- Sometimes trees lean at one side, indicating a weakening of root structure. In such cases, you should immediately inform Forest service department regarding the impending danger.
- Every tree has got a load bearing capacity. When the load exceeds the capacity, the tree develops in rolled cracks. You can inspect the crack by striking it with a mallet to listen to the shallowness in the sound. If the trunk sounds hollow, you should consult with forest service personnel.
- Root problems are very hard to detect with naked eyes. If you find roots coming out of the soil, wrapping themselves around the base of the stem, then this might be an indication of problem. It is better to take the advice of a tree care personnel in such cases.
Five important tips to prevent tree hazards
- If your house is located in a locality with big trees, then you should regularly inspect the trees and should annually hire an arborist to prepare a detailed risk assessment.
- Pruning young trees is an excellent habit and should always be encouraged.
- Always try to follow the correct procedure to plant any trees. Avoid planting any tree near power lines or your house.
- Try to prevent any root damage to trees during construction work as these might lead to a tree hazard in future.
- Avoid planting trees which shed branches every year near your house or community school.
Having said all these, the possibility of you being struck by a tree is very low. So, if you follow the above rules and remain a little more alert, you can potentially avoid any such problems in future.