Are you worried about your trees but you’re not positive which ones to worry about? Maybe
there’s no need to worry at all? Oh my! What should you do!?!
Don’t worry, it’s normal to wonder and worry about trees, but this report should help clarify if
you need to worry. You can expect the report will educate you to perform basic visual tree risk
inspection. This report can be used in your own yard to make educated decisions about your trees
and help to decide when it is time to call a licensed certified arborist for further assessment and
These are my secrets, developed over the course of my career, shared openly with you!
1.01 – INTRODUCTION:
I’m Certified Arborist Mike Cross and I have made it my mission to Protect People, Property &
Trees – and in that specific order I vow to do so.
Clearly people are irreplaceable and must be protected first priority. Property that people spend
hard earned money on must also be protected. For these reasons bad trees with targets must go.
But you see – as an arborist I am a tree lover. I respect the trees and value their life cycles.
That’s right trees are much like people with a life cycle and that is a big part of what draws my
undivided attention to this industry. Over the years I have accomplished many achievements in
the Tree Care Industry. Certified Arborist, Certified Tree Worker/Climber Specialist, Certified
Treecare Safety Professional, Qualified Tree Risk Assessor, 2015 Florida State Tree Climbing
Champion, and many other smaller credentials of study.
These accomplishments have all been driven by the need to understand
WHY DO TREES FAIL
Over the years of my career it becomes evident that tree situations never have one right answer.
There is almost always a good side and a bad side to every decision made about trees.
On the other hand, it’s pretty cut and dry that every time I see fallen trees or broken limbs, they
have decay in the area of the break. Although tornadoes or category 4 hurricanes may
non-discriminately break trees – but under normal storm environments trees break where there is
It is our job to assist tree owners with tree risk inspection and coach the clients to make educated
decisions about their own trees. Why depend on some tree guy telling you what to cut down???
So, to carry out the mission of Protecting People, Property & Trees, we help identify trees that
have weak areas or areas of decay and that have a target they could potentially hit, then make
educated decisions on how to handle that risk.
This all starts with tree risk inspection. You can perform basic visual tree risk inspection in your
own yard to determine if you need to call a professional.
Here is how…
2.0 – DIY TREE RISK INSPECTION:
First things first… Identify trees that have a target. That simply means will the tree hit something
if it falls either whole or partially? Targets include, people, houses, swimming pools, children
play areas, driveway or parking areas, neighbor’s houses, the street, power lines and many other
things can be considered a target.
Those are the trees you want to inspect first priority but, like most of us in Tallahassee you are
probably surrounded by trees and they could all hit your house, so in that case do something
systematic. For example, I like to start in the front yard near the front door because that is
usually where I am when the client greets me at the door but it’s also where we are when the
crew comes back to start the tree job. Work your way around the house or property moving in
the same direction instead of zig zagging back and forth across the property because that will
make the inspection flow much better without missing trees, especially if you are writing a report
about the findings. Start at one point, circle the property and finish again at your starting point
Mark the questionable trees with ribbon, string, paint or duct tape and make a note of it as you
So pick the nearest tree and start the individual inspection of every tree that has a target and once
again… do it systematically the same every time and always start from the ground up…
Did I say always do it systematically and always do it from the ground up!?!?!?!?!?!?!
If the tree is bad at the bottom then why analyze the rest of it?