Tree risk assessment is the process of having an experienced eye take a look at all the significant trees on your property and evaluating whether they are safe to maintain as is, merely pruned or should be completely cut down. It is not a process that an amateur – even a talented one – can usually do by themselves. Instead, it is essential to have an experienced expert examine your trees and let you know which ones are safe and which ones pose a risk. Indeed, there are multiple factors that need to be considered in a tree risk assessment. Here are the most noteworthy:

  • Canopy size – A tree will grow for as long as space and the nutrients in the ground will allow. This often leads to trees to grow canopies – that is, the width, length and breadth of their branches – that are too unwieldy for their location. Tree canopies can be pruned to remove some of the interior branches. This retains the shape and aesthetics of the tree while also making it more stable.
  • Root depth – There are a number of very popular varieties of trees that are actually a hazard because of how shallow their root systems remain even when the tree is fully mature. Notable examples include weeping willows, cottonwoods and eucalyptus trees. These varieties should be planted far from the home to limit damage that may be caused by high winds.
  • General Health – By and large, a healthy tree is a sturdy tree. Diseased or damaged trees, on the other hand, are far more likely to succumb – either wholly or in part – to strong winds. Even a moderate wind can blow debris off a tree located too close to a home and break a window. In addition, diseased trees are notoriously welcoming places where pestilential insects will create a home.
  • Proximity to the structure – Even a healthy tree – that is in no danger of falling or being blown over – can pose a threat to a home or office building. Extended root systems can damage a driveway, utility lines and even the foundation of a home. In addition, smaller limbs can be torn off in a windstorm and damage or destroy parts of the structure most notably windows.

For more detailed information on the problems of having large trees located near your house or to schedule an actual tree risk assessment, please contact us at Summit Tree Service. We can be reached online at or called directly at 616-453-1091.