As trees age, they become more susceptible to wood decay and other defects. Many old trees gradually fall apart before they decline and die. The first priority for arborists caring for older trees is evaluating their structural integrity and providing necessary remedial treatments to reduce the risk of branch, stem, and root failures.
Bartlett arborists are trained to identify symptoms of decay and other defects such as weakly attached branches, cracks, and splits indicating imminent failure, poor architecture, dead and hanging branches, and root related defects. Some defects are obvious by visual inspections, but others require a more detailed assessment. For this, state-of-the-art instruments that evaluate wood density and quality can be used to evaluate the severity of defects. Bartlett Tree Experts utilizes a sonic instrument capable of developing three-dimensional pictures to quantify the extent and severity of decay and defects in branches and stems.
If evaluation indicates the tree represents a high risk of failure, remedial treatments can be developed to reduce that risk. Treatments could involve pruning to reduce branch weight and wind resistance and installation of structural supports including cables and brace rods that help to limit branch movements during storms. When treatments will not reduce the risk of failure to an acceptable level, tree removal or restricting access to the area near the tree must be considered to prevent personal injury and property damage.