Trees have evolved to be extremely resilient to a wide range of adversities, from drought to insect-attacks, from wounding to fungal pathogens. However, when a tree is strained, either through a large injury, or from a combination of several stresses, it can become weakened both structurally and physiologically, rendering it vulnerable to attack from fungi or bacteria. This can render the tree unsafe.
It is the job of a trained, qualified and competent tree inspector to asses whether the tree is a hazard, and if there are any remedial measures that could ensure the retention of the tree.
Some fungi prey on living trees, such as Honey Fungus (Armarilla spp). A healthy tree can sometimes compartmentalise the decay, and lay down new wood to counteract the loss of healthy wood. However, other trees will not recover and so provide rich pickings for decay fungi.
Tree Inspections are Vital!
Please read our Case Study below featuring the removal of decayed Beech tree. This case reinforces the importance of regular tree inspections, as the Beech had gone rapidly into decline, from safe to deadly in three years.
A properly trained, qualified and experienced arboriculturist should survey
your trees and produce a report with findings and recommendations for tree management. From this, it should be clear how often your trees will need to be reinspected – anything from 6 month to 5 year intervals.
Arbor Vitae carry out Tree Condition surveys as well as Development Site surveys to British Standard 5837 (2005).
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Dismantle and Removal of Decayed Beech
This Beech was leaning towards a workshop in a residential care home. A neighbouring tree, that had been sheltering this one from prevailing wind, had been removed two years previously. The increased wind-stress probably caused the crack and allowed fungal spores entry to the heartwood. The appearance of a short-lived fungal fruiting body (possibly Armillaria spp) suggested that the tree had already been significantly decayed.