Last week was not a great time to be a tree.
All over North Georgia, a thick layer of ice accumulated on tree branches. This caused several large branches, and in some cases entire trees, to crack and fall. Power lines all over the state were damaged due to falling limbs weighed down by ice and snow.
As I watched the Atlanta news stations, I kept seeing the unfortunate victims of fallen trees lamenting not having them cut down earlier. Some even claimed they would have every single tree cut down in their yard.
For most homeowners, cutting down every tree in the yard is not the proper solution.
However, these recent winter storms can teach us a lesson about our existing trees. Many of the homeowners on the news reports talked about how the fallen trees had worried them for several years prior.
One particular man said he had worried about a tree in his neighbor's yard for the past five years. That old oak tree fell in his yard, missing his house by only a few feet.
Just as in this example, many of us have identified trees in our yards that worry us.
Maybe the tree is leaning toward the house, has obvious rot or structural damage, or is simply too close to the house for comfort. If this situation describes you, I recommend you consult a certified arborist.
Certified arborists have undergone intense training in tree health, fertilization, damage diagnosis, and risk assessment.
A quality arborist will run through all of the options available to save a tree before recommending its removal. Pruning, cabling and bracing, fertilization and pesticide applications are all methods that can be used to treat damaged or stressed trees.
To find a certified arborist, visit www.isa-arbor.com and click the link labeled "Find a Tree Care Service."
Look for a consulting arborist if you just want an expert opinion. They are not connected to tree services. Don't be afraid to ask for credentials and references from any certified arborist you hire.
Winter storms aside, most of us realize the benefits trees bring to our homes. They are aesthetically pleasing, lower our energy costs, and provide fresh oxygen that we all enjoy.
The Dawson County Tree Preservation Committee will host its annual Arbor Day celebration at 2 p.m. Friday. The ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial Park on Hwy 9 North, Dawsonville.
The Tree Preservation Committee will be handing out the Tree Preservationist of the Year award, an honor that is bestowed upon an individual, group or business that is dedicated to saving and replanting trees on property developments.
A ceremonial tree will be planted during the ceremony, and the Georgia Forestry Commission will also be handing out free tree seedlings.