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5 Signs That Your Trees Need a Health Check: The Tree Risk Assessment (TRA)

Taking care of your trees is crucial for both your safety and the health and beauty of your property. However, it’s not always easy to tell when a tree is in trouble, especially if you’re not an expert. That’s where a Tree Risk Assessment (TRA) can be a lifesaver. In this article, we’ll walk you through common signs that indicate it’s time to schedule a TRA. This assessment ensures that your trees thrive and don’t pose any risks to your property or your well-being.

Understanding the Basics of Tree Risk Assessments

Before we dive into the signs, let’s first understand what a Tree Risk Assessment (TRA) is.

A Tree Risk Assessment is a professional service provided by certified arborists, who are tree experts. The main goal of a TRA is to identify any risks, hazards, or potential concerns related to your trees. These assessments are essential to make sure your trees don’t put people or property in danger. Certified arborists are trained to spot tree issues and provide practical solutions. This not only keeps everyone safe but also extends the life of your trees.

What’s Included in a Tree Risk Assessment Report?

A tree risk assessment report is like a health checkup for your trees. It’s a detailed document that gives you important information about your tree’s health, safety, and any care plans it might need. Here’s what you can expect to find in a TRA report:

  • Tree inspection findings: This includes everything the arborist discovered during the assessment.
  • Observations regarding proximity to buildings and other trees: It’s important to know if your tree is getting too cozy with your house or other trees.
  • Soil and root condition: The health of a tree’s roots is vital for its overall well-being.
  • Recent damages: Any recent injuries to the tree, like broken branches or wounds.
  • Potential hazards: Anything that might be a risk in the future.

This report is your guide to keeping your trees healthy and safe.

Signs that It’s Time for a Tree Risk Assessment


#1. Fungal Growth

Fungal diseases are like a nightmare for trees. When you see strange fungi growing on your tree, it’s a big red flag. These diseases can lead to decay, making your tree weak and potentially dangerous. Fungi can also mess with your tree’s root system, which is like its anchor. Common fungal diseases to watch out for include Oak Root Fungus, Artist’s Conk, and Dyer’s Polypore. If you spot any of these, don’t waste time – get a certified arborist to do a TRA.

#2. Pest Parties

Pests love to crash tree parties, but they’re not the kind of guests you want. When your tree is hosting a pest party, it’s a sign that something is seriously wrong. These unwanted guests weaken your tree over time, making it more vulnerable to problems like falling branches.

Look for these signs of a pest invasion:

  • Lots of insects crawling on the bark: It’s like a bug takeover.
  • Bark that looks discolored: Your tree might be feeling sick.
  • Small holes on the tree’s surface: It’s like your tree is getting poked all over.

If you see these signs, it’s time to bring in a certified arborist for a thorough assessment.

#3. It’s been Over a Year Since Your Last TRA

Just like how you need a checkup with your doctor once in a while, your trees need regular checkups too. It’s recommended to get a Tree Risk Assessment at least once a year or after any major weather events. These assessments help to spot risks early, manage potential problems, and keep everything safe. Arborists can recommend things like pruning, fertilizing, or dealing with diseases. Consistent checkups allow for adjustments in care as needed. Even if your tree looks healthy, don’t skip these regular assessments.

#4. Recent Soil Work

If you’ve had any soil work done near your tree recently, it’s a good idea to schedule a TRA. Soil disturbances can weaken trees and make them more susceptible to issues like pests, fungi, or falling over. Common causes of soil disturbances include digging, stump removal, earthquakes, and flooding.

#5. Weather Troubles

Weather can be tough on trees. Weather-related tree damage, like fires, strong winds, lightning strikes, earthquakes, and floods could be harmful for them. If your tree has faced any of these weather-related problems, it’s wise to schedule a TRA to assess all potential risks and hazards.

Schedule a Tree Risk Assessment

Knowing when to schedule a Tree Risk Assessment is crucial for your tree’s well-being. At
Joliet Tree Service, our certified arborists have Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) credentials, so you can trust their expertise. Don’t leave your tree’s health and safety up to chance. Your trees and your property’s safety depend on it.

Remember, a well-cared-for tree doesn’t just make your property look good; it’s a gift to the environment and a valuable part of your property. Let’s make sure they stay healthy and strong for years to come.

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