Urban forester warns of storm-damaged trees

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Heavy winter rains raise concerns about the condition and safety of large trees, but knowing about careful management of tree defects in advance can help create a safer environment, reduce liability and ease those concerns, city of Vancouver’s Urban Forester Charles Ray said Friday.

While all trees have the potential to fail, only a relative few actually do, he said in a news bulletin.

“Maturity is not what makes a tree fail,” Ray said. “Most tree failure is due to an existing defect, such as tree cankers, decay and root problems.”

In the case of a fallen branch or other storm damage to a tree on their property, Ray urges property owners to stay calm and make a careful appraisal of the situation. Stay out of the way of branches that might fall, and stay away from downed utility lines.

The Urban Forestry website at www.cityofvancouver.us/urbanforestry offers tips and resources to help Vancouver residents better recognize and manage hazardous trees throughout the year. The site also provides a list of certified arborists who can help identify and manage defects and potential hazards, as well as facts about regulations and permit requirements.

For information or questions, call 487-8308 or email urbanforestry@cityofvancouver.us.