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Tree Risk Management

While trees provide numerous benefits to the City and to a property, trees sometimes need to be inspected and managed to keep them adequately safe.  See below for some signs that a tree might need an inspection by a qualified arborist, the types of risk mitigation actions that your arborist may recommended, and some conditions typically not associated with an elevated risk rating. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their trees in a safe manner and securing adequate professional assistance when necessary.

Conditions that may warrant inspection by a qualified arborist:
  • A split forming in the bark or wood
  • Mushrooms (fungal fruiting bodies) growing from the roots, trunk or branches
  • A sizable cavity in a trunk or branch
  • A sudden substantial increase in a tree’s lean associated with heaving of the soil or roots
  • Sizable deadwood hanging over objects, activities, or people that could be damaged or injured
  • A documented pattern of recurring failure of substantial live branches with no previously identifiable defects
  • Recent root loss due to excavation or some other impact
Risk mitigation actions your arborist may recommend following inspection:
  • Pruning out defective branches
  • Reduction pruning to reduce the load on a defect
  • Installing a support cabling between two branches or trunks
  • Removal of the tree
Tree conditions typically not associated with elevated risk:
  • A tree growing at a static lean, which may be due to its growing towards the sun
  • Healthy branches without any identifiable defects or concerning patterns of failure
  • Smaller diameter dead or defective branches for which the likelihood of hitting a target is low and the consequences of impact are not concerning
  • Dead or defective material on a tree that is well away from any potential targets that could be hit if the tree part were to fail

Unfortunately, the City is not able to offer tree consultation services for private properties so you will need to work with a private arborist for this service.  If you determine that you intend to remove a tree or prune more than 10% of the live crown of a tree you will need to apply for the appropriate Tree Removal Permit or Tree Impact Assessment

Also, please see the City’s webpage covering City Tree Regulations, to read about the requirements pertaining to hazardous trees.

Tree Education Sections