Traditionally in the autumn and winter months in the Brisbane area we get visited by gusting winds and some seasonal wet weather. Although the rain is much needed and our trees and plants within our gardens love the water, the wind can be troublesome. Wind is the cause of most of the mid and upper canopy tree failures.

In saying that, most trees in most circumstances deal with wind and its effects on tree canopies really well and statistically we do not see many critical incidences caused by wind created tree and canopy failure. However when trees are not properly managed or they have been pruned incorrectly, most likely by the home owner or the dreaded ‘tree lopper’, we tend to see a dramatic increase in the chances of incidents.

Trees growing in wild spaces like forests and national parks live long lives without any interaction with humans.  This is a good thing as the majority of human interaction with trees generally leaves them compromised or damaged in some way.

In Brisbane, one of the greenest cities on the planet, we live amongst our forest or what we call the urban forest. This means that the trees around us need proper management and care from time to time.

Successful Tree Plan

So we have started with great success a plan, a Vegetation Management Plan, to help those non tree minded people who have found themselves responsible for a collection of many trees or large and protected trees due to their roles within an organisation or committee.  This at first can seem daunting, but it isn’t. For example we have applied our Vegetation Management Plan to a local urban Brisbane primary school; this vegetation assessment allows us to cover a full range of assessment criteria which can provide us with the location of each individual tree, identify the species and prioritise the recommended works to be done to these trees.

In a collection of over 100 trees of various species, ages and size at this school, we found that only two trees needed to be removed due to heavily compromised structures. Twelve trees needed maintenance pruning to mitigate aerial hazards (like deadwood) and the rest were a low priority and required only monitoring and observation.

Acting On The Tree Assessment

By acting upon this assessment, keeping a database of the findings and responding to the recommended actions, you are acting as a responsible tree keeper and ensuring that the trees and their inherent legacy is properly protected and well maintained,  as would any other commodity or possession you have under your responsibility.