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Friday, October 31, 2008

Tree-tment time is now

Don't wait for next big storm to discover tree trouble

The winds that battered Northeast Ohio last month left a landscape littered with downed branches and toppled trees.

In some cases, the damage was unpreventable. But more often than not, the trees that suffered had been weakened earlier by disease, damage or structural problems, arborists say.

One thing's certain: Tree-threatening weather will return, be it in the form of heavy snow, thick ice or more high winds. So it's a good idea to evaluate your trees now for signs of problems.

Those trouble signs don't necessarily mean your tree needs to come down, but they may indicate the need to consult a qualified arborist. He or she can help you determine whether your tree poses a risk to property or people, and the arborist can help you get the tree into the best shape possible to meet the challenges ahead.

We asked three arborists — Jason Knowles, a tree consultant who operates Knowles Municipal Forestry in Kent; Bill Hahn, arborist for the city of Akron; and R.J. Laverne, manager of education and training for the Davey Tree Expert Co. — for pointers on identifying warning signs.

So get out your binoculars, take a walk around the yard and give your trees a good going-over. Here's what they suggested you look for:

Read on
The painting is by Nancy Merkle

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