We recently worked on a job at Gosford Selective High School on the NSW Central Coast. We removed a Eucalyptus Pilularis tree from the grounds of the school, as there was a large hollow section throughout the tree.

Removing a eucalyptus tree from Gosford High school due to a large hollow section

This work stirred up memories of the unfortunate and tragic death of Bridget Wright, aged eight, a student at Pitt Town Public School, after a branch from a 50 year old gum tree fell on Bridget, two other students and a teacher.

The large branch that fell down in the playground at Pitt Town Public School Photo: Saffron Howden via smh.com.au

We’d like to take this opportunity to have a look at the issue of tree safety in any area where the tree can affect people. This may be in or around a school, but also includes backyards, private property, public parks and spaces, commercial areas, and council or government land.

It is important to note that a healthy, well maintained tree means a safe tree. A tree that is structurally sound with a strong, stable root system and a healthy canopy, is safely pruned and maintained by a professional utilising the proper techniques, and inspected annually by a qualified arborist and after any severe weather conditions can be considered safe.

Tim, our director, checking out a tree

n contrast, an unsafe tree is one that has an unstable or restricted root system, has structural defects, such as split trunks or hollows, has been improperly maintained by a civilian or someone using incorrect techniques, has low hanging branches, is overgrown and is not regularly maintained, or has visible flaws or diseases, such as dying leaves, discoloured bark, or fungus growing.

Structural damage like this hollow can make the tree more susceptible

A tree without visible defects or flaws, which still looks healthy to most people, may still in fact be dangerous, if a qualified arborist has not checked it out. The Everwilling Tree Specialists team’s arborist inspection will include an aerial inspection of the tree. There are many structural issues, defects and diseases that can only be seen from above ground. When in the tree, the arborist will have a better vantage point to thoroughly check the tree, including the canopy, branches and where branches join the tree.

At Everwilling Tree Specialists, safety is our main concern. We ensure we properly assess each job before commencing work, completing a risk assessment and planning how safe work practices will be adhered to on the site. For more information on our safety policies and concerns, read out blog post Safety first. Safety First.

Everwilling Tree Specialists always put safety first!

Additionally, we also ensure we adopt the correct techniques for the pruning or removal of any tree or branch. Topping and lopping are out dated pruning techniques of tree management, while a flush cut is an incorrect method for branch removal. These practices can lead to increased hazards, including poorly attached regrowth, and a structurally unsound tree. The increased healing time for a flush cut also results in greater exposure of the tree to pathogens and insects.

This tree has been previously maintained using improper techniques

The Everwilling Tree Specialists team will prune or remove your tree with the most up to date technology, the most professional techniques, and with safety in mind at all times. Everwilling Tree Specialists can also conduct tree inspections, hazard and safety assessments, and complete an arborist report. We recommend you have an inspection on the trees in your yard or premises care every year. To arrange a safety and hazard assessment, whether you’re a resident, a business owner, a school official or a member of council, contact the Tim from Everwilling Tree Specialists now here.

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