Trimming Trees For Natural Disaster Mitigation
Among the more common types of natural disasters, restoration and mitigation services that we have to perform are mitigating the risk of falling trees or cleaning the aftermath thereof.
There are numerous instances where trees fall on people or property, leading to serious injury. The same goes for the property. On average, a tree can weigh anywhere between 25-40 pounds per foot. Based on Newton’s law of gravity (which we won’t bore you with here), falling trees can exert a force of up to 176 Newton per foot.
For reference, a person weighing 170 lb would be exerting a force of roughly 80 Newton on the ground. This means that falling and swaying trees can pose a huge threat to your property, especially if they are near you. Generally, you should try to keep tree roots at least 15 feet away from your property, while the foliage itself should be trimmed regularly to maintain a distance of at least 10-12 feet away.
Trees in urban environments, especially in areas that are prone to storms and strong winds, can pose significant dangers to your property if not pruned properly. This article will examine the risk of water damage, fire damage, or even mold presented by trees near your home.
Natural Disaster Mitigation & Restoration – The Threat of Trees Near You
Trees are an essential part of any landscape. Not only do they add aesthetic value to your property, especially in urban settings, they also reduce sound pollution, filter the air, and produce oxygen during the day, essentially improving our quality of life.
There is no doubt about the benefits that trees and plants in general have for the environment. However, when near your property, they also present a prevalent risk of damaging your property if not ‘trained.’ Their close proximity to the property and high traffic areas, even if it just branches, can create hazards for passersby or those living nearby.
So, should you remove the plant altogether? Should you avoid planting more trees? Absolutely not!
Instead, disaster mitigation from nearby trees revolves around proper tree maintenance and training. While maintenance and training can be done at any time, it is important to note that the earlier you begin, the easier it gets over time. Furthermore, by pruning the tree from the very beginning, you can reduce the risk of giving the tree nearby a ‘shock’.
There are several tree training methods that you can adopt to reduce the risk of disaster from trees in close proximity, such as;
- Regular pruning. This involves cutting down the excess branches or other growth that may be headed towards your property. The goal here isn’t to give it any particular shape; just to make sure the tree stays away from your property.
- Coppicing or Pollarding. This technique involves keeping the tree at a juvenile stage and preventing further growth. You can either cut the tree rigorously or its roots to limit growth.
- Espalier. A technique that allows a tree to grow up a trellis or other structure only.
- Pleaching. Here, you entwine or interlace tree branches to shape the tree and train its branch growth.
- Pooktre. This is a form of shaping trees by allowing them to grow into predetermined designs. The primary focus here is on branches, not the foliage.
- Topiary. An art form that involves clipping shrubs or trees into ornamental shapes.
- Bonsai. A tree that is kept small on purpose to create entire sceneries in small pots.
The Risks of Untrimmed & Untrained Trees Near Your Home
The older a tree is, the more extensive its root system and branches get. As the roots continue to spread, they can use brute force to continue growing into your property’s foundation, effectively cracking it and weakening it in the process. Root systems may also enter plumbing pipes, resulting in sewage backups.
You may find yourself having to face water damage because of this or because of a broken window during a storm. Overgrown branches can lead to broken windows or damage the integrity of your walls. You may need to call natural disaster restoration services to mitigate further damage from broken windows or wall cracks.
Surprisingly, trees near your home also present a risk of fire damage, especially if the roots are near your chimney. Sometimes, large ambers may rise from fireplaces. Due to the prevalent dryness during winters and autumn, these ambers can light up these branches, which may not only put your house at risk but also start wildfires!
The larger and closer a branch is to your property, the riskier it is to let it grow. If you have any trees or branches within 10-12 feet of your home, we recommend you prune them immediately to stay safe.
Not sure about what to do or the permissions you may need to take? 911 Restoration of Indianapolis has IICRC certified natural disaster restoration experts ready to help you at a moment’s notice. Give us a call, and let us handle the foliage around you and mitigate any risks that you may be facing!