Worrying about hazards has resulted in the unnecessary removal of many trees. Although the problem of hazard trees needs to be addressed by every landowner and land manager, removal should be an act of last resort. Instead, some technical knowledge and a lot of common sense are the keys to preventing injuries, property damage and lawsuits due to unsafe trees. There once was a young arborist who was placed in charge of the trees on a beautiful college campus. Most of the trees under his care had been planted decades before, then carefully nurtured over the years to provide shade and lend grace to the academic setting. Not long after the new arborist arrived, trees began being felled and a “hit list” of others was presented to the faculty committee that oversaw such matters. Soon, the arborist was known as The Grim Reaper, a title out of character in a profession dedicated to prolonging the lives of trees!
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