Can tree removal be decided by testing if a tree is more likely to fail?

Answer:  The short answer is no.  Consulting arborists can never be sure nor do they have the  scientific tools to accurately predict which tree is going to fall first and when.

ASCA Consulting Arborists (ASCA) need to clearly disclose and explain
in their reports any limitations and one of those limits is predicting when a tree will fall.

Arborist can provide tree preservation strategies to keep the tree healthy and stable.

A consulting arborist can offer an opinion if a tree is a hazard tree.  The opinion itself is used more to assess the value of the tree.

So, in this picture below, the fact that the tree to the left had one leader break
does not, on its own indicate, that the remaining leader is more likely to break then the tree to the right.

Which Tree is More Likely to Fail?

 

Arborist as Seismologist.

Being an arborist is a little like being an earthquake scientist.

The seismologist could tell you that the probability of an earthquake is higher or
lower currently but not when and where it would hit.

If an arborist was standing in your yard looking at a tree, they could only tell
you if the tree is declining early or not and why.

Like seismologists, arborists take a long view into the future and past.

Maybe not geological ages but a 50 to 100 year view of the tree and its environmental context.

Let’s say the average lifespan of your pine tree is 75 years
and it has lived for 40. The tree would logically have
another 35 years left.

Then the arborist will take into account a whole range of factors such as

  • climate
  •  tree condition
  • construction around the tree
  • maintenance level
  • disease symptoms

They can tell you whether the tree will decline early and what to start doing if you want to preserve it.

More info: Tree Care Asheville NC

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