Measuring Decay with a Resistograph
The Resistograph test is the most current and reliable method available for determining if your tree is stable. This test is invaluable for further diagnosis when a tree shows signs of instability or weakness, such as cracks, root decay, and leans. Not every tree needs the resistograph test, but there is no substitute for this crucial test when it is indicated.
The Resistograph machine uses a 19-inch long, 1/8-inch diameter drill bit. When drilled into the tree, the wood’s resistance to the drill is recorded on a strip of paper (it looks like an EKG). We usually drill four points at the base of the trunk and the major root flares. Sometimes it is advisable to climb the tree with the Resistograph to test branches, crotches, and trunk cavities. Using a mathematical formula, we can then determine the precise amount of hollowness and/or decay in the area drilled. This test is slightly invasive but does not harm the tree.
Why should you have your trees inspected?
- To keep your trees healthy and safe.
It is important to identify and immediately address signs of disease or decay that can cause branches to drop or trees to die and topple. When major problems arise, there may be remedies other than removing the tree! We can advise you as to the best course of action if your trees show signs of trouble.
- To know what problems might arise in a particular tree as it grows.Treescape can give you this information as well as suggest preventive measures against those problems. We can also advise you about what trees to plant under what conditions.
- To understand the needs and weaknesses of mature trees.Often people make the mistake of equating a beautiful old tree’s large size with strength and stability. In fact, old trees are more fragile than younger ones, and are more vulnerable to disease and the forces of nature. We can tell you how to preserve mature and dearly loved trees.
- To identify the types of trees on your property.Some trees drop leaves all year round. Others drop heavy nuts. Some trees drop twigs every time the wind blows. Every species of tree has its own quirks of existence, just like human individuals. By knowing what type of trees you own, you can understand why they behave the way they do and help them maintain their health.
What is it?
A tree inspection performed by Treescape, Inc. can tell you whether your trees are in good health or decline, and whether they are safe or unsafe. Our arborist will be looking for sickness or hazardous conditions such as:
- dead or cracked branches
- severely leaning trees
- root rot or trunk decay
- insect attack
- fungal infection
When hazards are present, Treescape can make recommendations about how to correct them, such as:
- trimming dead or decayed branches (“deadwooding”)
- installing mechanical support to stabilize large sections of a tree (“cabling”)
- spraying for insect invaders such as borers and pine bark beetles
In addition to looking at individual trees, Treescape can look at your property overall in order to answer questions such as:
- Are the trees too crowded? Would removing some of the stunted or inferior species be a benefit to the more valuable trees?
- Will that small tree growing a few feet from the house pose a problem when it matures to full size in coming years?
- What effect will construction have on existing trees?
- What kind of trees can be planted to enhance the property and/or replace lost trees?
Make a list of all of your tree concerns before we visit. We will tailor your tree inspection to your needs and questions.
Who needs a tree inspection?
- All established homeowners should have the trees on their property inspected periodically by Treescape. Not only will you be alerted to any potential hazards, but you will also gain insight into the trees you own and how to preserve them. (You would also be surprised at the amount of monetary value a healthy mature tree adds to your property!)
- Prospective homeowners should have the trees on a property inspected before closing on a new home. It is not uncommon for new property owners to discover a sick tree or be faced with an unexpected and expensive tree disaster. Banks and mortgage companies require almost every home buyer to get a house inspection before purchase. A tree inspection is just as important!
- Builders and contractors often need the services of an arborist to qualify for a building permit if the proposed construction will impact trees. Many cities require builders to have an arborist inspect a building plan and recommend a tree preservation plan before issuing a building permit. Some cities also require tree removal permits, and often these are only approved after an arborist has submitted a report or application.
- Colleges & Universities
- Property Managers
- Greens Keepers
- Parks and Recreation Departments
- City, State, and Federal employees intrusted with tree care
- Anyone with trees on their property
When should trees be inspected?
Trees should be inspected by a arborist every three years to monitor their health and safety. However, in extreme weather conditions like drought or excessive rain or flooding, more frequent tree inspections are advisable. Also consider having your trees inspected after a severe storm, particularly if you have heard cracking sounds or see broken or dangling branches.