Trees are being lost at high rates
Mature trees are being lost at unacceptable rates to development, drought, pests, and inattention. This loss is devastating, as trees provide essential ecosystem services, and bring beautiful nature into our city. Some benefits include the following: shade in parks, support of wildlife migrations and habitats, cool down sidewalks, streets, and buildings, filter harmful particulates from the air, reduce stormwater runoff, encourage active living, and bring character to our 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.
Key principles of tree health and protection.
Get in contact with a certified arborist through our arborists page
#1 – Know how to care for your trees
#2 – Hire an Arborist for tree maintenance
- Why hire an arborist
- Arborist should be Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ)
#3 – Require arborist to document tree risks
- have them complete 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, consequences of failure, and tree pruning that can reduce risk to acceptable level.
#4 – Defend your trees
- 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.
Irrigation is Key
Trees need to be watered especially in drought. Homeowners can access more specific watering information at the link – Save our trees. Property managers and landscapers can apply drought tree watering practices outlined at https://drought.katestrees.org/ .
Tree watering teams are also a great way to ensure the many hundreds of trees in neighborhoods are being cared for even in drought. Establishing these teams creates jobs, ensures the trees are watered in areas with poor irrigation infrastructure, and will better protect the tree cover in historically underfunded and underserved neighborhoods.