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  • Writer's pictureJulia Steele

Why You Should Call An Arborist For Storm Cleanup

After a long year of very little rain, the Gold Coast saw a total of 214mm of rainfall in December. A sudden deluge saw She Trees arborists called out to clean up the damage of fallen trees and make properties safe again throughout Mudgeeraba, Tallai and Worongary.

While it may be tempting to grab a chainsaw and head out into the rain to start chopping up a fallen tree, this may not be the safest or smartest decision. Heavy periods of rain can change the soil structure around the root plate of trees. The root plate is the main structure which the tree has engineered itself to hold strong in the ground. Most tree roots spread 2-3 times the radius of the canopy, and often reach out 5 times the radius of the tree canopy or more in dry conditions.

The formula above can help when planting out your garden to know which location is best and avoid overcrowding. For example, if you have a large tree which is 10m wide and the radius of the canopy is 5m. The root spread is 2 (to 3) x canopy radius = 2 (to 3) x 5 = 10 to 15metres.

When trees become uprooted after storms, it is generally a failure of the Structural Root Zone (SRZ). In developments and when council assesses a tree for removal, a Certificate 5 Arborist will calculate the SRZ and ensure that the pool about to be dug or area about to have a shed concrete slab poured does not impact or damage a nearby trees’ SRZ. If the SRZ is damaged then that would drastically change a tree's stability.

The main reason to call an arborist after storm damage in suburbs like Mudgeeraba, Tallai and Worongary is due to our ability to manage risk. The tension and compression of timber while it rests upon a house is something we deal with every day. A tree may become uprooted and now resting, held up by another tree. Throw in a few vines holding on to some branches 15 metres up in the air. Combine this with the force of gravity and you have a very risky scenario for a gungho chainsaw novice to manage.

The spring back effect of an uprooted tree is one which has caused many injuries which is why it is very important to create an exclusion zone around a fallen tree. Do not pose for a photo nearby an uprooted tree or treat it as a jungle gym and climb over it, in case it does spring back upright at any point. The best thing to do is contact a professional arborist. She Trees are fully insured and certified arborists and will safely manage any fallen trees and dangerous debris and make your property safe again.

At the same time we can do an assessment and provide recommendations for any potential tree risks to your property. Stay safe this storm season!

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