UMass Arborist Deems Preventive Tree Care the Safe Route

Two serious accidents involving fallen limbs, one in Lenox and one in Chicopee Massachusetts last week, have arborists reminding the public to be mindful of the importance of taking care of damaged trees.

Dennis Ryan heads the Arbor Culture and Community Forestry program at UMass Amherst. He says while accidents involving tree limbs can happen, most often unhealthy trees pose the greatest risk. Ryan says last October’s snowstorm left a tremendous number of damaged trees in its wake.

“If you go out anywhere in this area and look up — you’re gonna see right here on East Hadley Road there’s a tree not fifty feet from a house that’s got five or six major broken branches that are still hanging. and that’s we call them in the business — we call them hangers. and those branches will come out of those trees. It’s just a matter of when they’re going to come out. “

Ryan says preventive tree care can help avoid future problems. He says having decayed limbs and dead trees cleared before they fall and cause damage is cost effective.

“Trees are like elementary education. You can pay me now or you can pay me a lot more later. A lot of this damage isn’t hidden. It’s right out there and it’s very easy to see.”

In addition to inspecting property, arborists often advise pedestrians to look up. He says what sounds like common sense can alert someone to a potential accident before it occurs.