But as we saw during recent storms, even beautiful trees create risks for people and property.
So how should Hickory Cluster manage risk created by more than 500 trees scattered throughout 18 acres?
Professionals tell us we should take reasonable steps to monitor those trees. And that we should take prompt action when we become aware of tree problems.
The Hickory Cluster Board of Directors is doing just that.
During approved Phase 1 that started August 2011 and is still in process, tree professionals surveyed the Cluster several times and identified a number of trees exhibiting higher than typical risk. It’s a challenge because not all trees with problems create such risk.
These higher risk trees are now being prioritized and budgeted for removal, tentatively before January 1, 2013, after their leaves have fallen, before heavy snowfall, and to take advantage of off-season discounted rates.
Compared to the more than 100 trees scheduled for removal as part of the much-delayed Stream Restoration project, the Board has identified about 30 higher risk trees during Phase 1 so far. We have already removed several dead or otherwise higher risk trees since December 2011, including some downed by 2012 storms.
We must apply for and receive RA Design Review Board approval to remove live trees. That will take additional time. Tree photos, locations, and descriptions are posted in the Trees section of this website.
During proposed Phase 2 starting in 2013, we hope to identify trees that may actually be at risk but don’t exhibit obvious signs. We also plan to identify and remove other potentially higher risk trees while they are still small, less risky, and less expensive.
During proposed Phase 3 starting in 2014, we hope to start the process over again and pro-actively manage life cycle tree risk on an annual basis.
That’s the plan. Thanks for your continued patience and support.