Tree Protection

Mature trees are being lost at unacceptable rates to development, drought, pests, and inattention. Yet trees are essential services for providing nature access – especially in communities with few parks, supporting wildlife habitat, cooling neighborhoods and buildings, cleaning the air, reducing stormwater runoff, inviting active living, and reflecting the historic and unique characters of neighborhoods.

Some trees are cut down because they pose an unacceptable risk to lives and property–and sometimes healthy trees are removed because they stand in the way of views, perceived risks, and undocumented reasons. While there is no such thing as a completely safe tree, only a small number actually fail–and there are well established methods to make evidence-based decisions about tree health.

By understanding and addressing the risks associated with trees, you can make your property safer and prolong the lives of your trees.

—Read up on the key principles of tree health and protection. Recognizing tree risk and Mature tree care

—Hire an arborist, as a homeowner, property manager, or HOA board Why hire an arborist . Arborist should be Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ)

—Require the arborist to document the tree risks by completing the detailed Basic tree risk assessment form (more info in Instructions for the form )

—OR ask TRAQ-certified arborist to clearly communicate and show the tree defects, likelihood of impacting target, consequences of failure, and tree pruning that can reduce risk to acceptable level.

—If trees have low or moderate risk of failure, be ready to defend your trees, their shade, and the joy their provide for your home and neighborhood.

Even during droughts, it is important to continue watering trees and keep them healthy in order to protect our communities. Homeowners can get the best information and videos at Save our trees . Property managers and landscapers can apply drought tree watering practices outlined at https://drought.katestrees.org/ .

Although many places to plant trees lack irrigation systems, could tree watering be accomplished with neighborhood teams or create jobs for local workers? Could a “tree watering team” be established to water hundreds of street trees in these communities? This is just one way we aim to increase access to trees in historically underserved neighborhoods.