When you purchase a new home or a property for development, you should give thought to the other “asset” for which you are now responsible…the trees!
Besides their obvious benefits to society, trees are considered “assets” within the urban landscape and now carry both financial and aesthetic “value.” In the past 3-5 years, municipalities such as Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, and Toronto have passed and/or upgraded by-laws governing tree protection and preservation during all phases of construction on both municipal and private properties.
Ownership of an asset includes the responsibility of maintaining it. Here’s how it relates to trees:
- Trees are living organisms with a finite life span
- As trees age or are injured, they are susceptible to disease, decay, and death
- Trees naturally lose branches and on occasion will fail
- While the risk to human safety is low, a tree owner has a legal “duty of care”
- A tree’s “risk potential” rises in urban areas where its failure could cause injury or damage to people and property
- If a healthy, structurally sound and properly maintained tree can be an “asset”, then an unhealthy, structurally compromised, or poorly maintained one can be a costly “liability”
You have a house assessed and inspected before you buy it…you should consider having the trees inspected too. They are your responsibility. Real estate agents are starting to use Consulting Arborists who have the specialized skills, education and experience in risk assessment to provide this service.
Next time, let’s talk about how to keep your trees healthy…that’s much more fun!
Tom Bradley B.Sc. (Agr.)
A.S.C.A. Registered Consulting Arborist #492
I.S.A. Certified Arborist #ON-1182A