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Diagnosing Tree Problems

We’ve all seen seemingly healthy trees fail. Once the tree is removed, a hollow center reveals the cause of this tree failure.

Arborists now have a minimally invasive tool that helps them diagnose the soundness of a tree. This information can help them diagnose tree problems and reduce the risk of unexpected tree failures that create a hazard for people and property.

An electronic high-resolution needle drill makes a fine hole in the tree. As it travels through the trunk it measures the resistance encountered. A print out is produced mapping out the internal structure of the tree.

As you can see, the graph aligns with the decay pattern of the trunk we tested from a felled tree.

Arborists use the results of this measuring tool to get a look inside sick and declining trees. These test results can help them determine if a tree is a hazard and should be removed or one that can be saved.

A bit more information: A hazardous tree is one that can cause damage to people or property when it fails. Though not always easy to detect, see the Friends of Tree City USA bulletin for tips on spotting and avoiding hazardous trees. And consider working with a certified arborist to keep your trees healthy, detect and manage or remove hazardous conditions.


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