Tree Safety

Trees, Trees, and More Trees??? Hazardous? Safe? Rotten? What to do?

Many people look at their trees and say “wow how did they get soooo big so fast?”
Or you will see trees snapped and uprooted and wonder if yours are rotten or in danger of being a hazard.

It happens to everyone. Over time, people stop looking up at their trees to see how high they are climbing and then they are too big to do anything about.

There is an ever-growing concern in New Hampshire’s tree world.
One of many concerns is “Water Rotten Trees”.
What it boils down too is that for the past 6 years NH has been pummeled with too much snow and rain. The trees don’t know how to stop “drinking”, so it keeps sucking up the water through the heart of the tree. My best way to describe what happens is with a sponge in water for too long, it starts to deteriorate, and rot away. Trees do this from the center of the heart out. The center rots, gets soft, bugs and worms burrow their way in, and the rot never heals. It expands outward. This is great for the bugs and worms, but not for us.

There are ways to tell on hardwood (firewood) type trees if they have issues inside of them. Look for dead branches. If your tree has dead branches here and there, climbing up through the tree, chances are, it’s got issues.

This is not the case in the Pine family of trees. They kill off lower branches to help send the water supply higher, and higher. These Pines I call the Sky Stealers, Grass Killers and Widow Makers. All trees can be Widow Makers and know of many loggers who can tell the stories of ones they have lost to trees. It is a very hazardous carrier. In fact, it use to have the highest death rate for jobs in the United States. Back to pines, they get water rotten easier than hardwood, as the wood is softer. Bugs can boar into it easier and higher. But there is no visual way to tell if it’s hollowed out by the branches (unless its totally dead and barks coming off) I would say that 75% of the trees I have taken down in these past 2 years have been water rotted.

There are a few tricks to tell if a pine is a hazard:
1. Near your house, shed, wires, pool, play area. Hazard
2. Distance of where tree is vs. how tall the tree is.
(Example: 100’ pine, 70’ from your house) = Hazard

Number 2 is very important. A lot of pines tight and close to the house end up just leaning on the house, if its 10’ to 50’ away, and it comes down, the best way to explain it is the “whip” factor. The butt of the whip doesn’t hurt, but, you get to the end of that whip and look out!! It’s got the speed, force, and weight.

If you would like to learn more, please let me know. My name is Elise Ford. I am known as “the tree lady”. My company name is 3B Tree Removal. I grew up in Londonderry, NH. I have been in the tree business for ten years now, and could talk about trees all day long. If you would like a free tree estimate, trimming, visual ideas, stump grinding, give me a call. Also visit my web-site at and see some of the tree lady’s chainsaw carvings.