Ask a Consulting Arborist Q&A: Tree Health

Q: Our ash tree is listing and its roots are coming out of the ground. Can we save it?

Thursday, December 31, 2015  

Q: The ash in front of our home in Monmouth County, New Jersey, is listing, and the ground opposite the list is mounding...looks like roots coming out of the ground due to the list. We fear the tree will eventually fall. It's a huge tree that shades the house, and we love it. We have been told by tree professionals the tree needs to be taken down. The tree looks healthy. We'd hate to lose her. Anything we can do?

A: Unfortunately, tree "health" is a bit more complex than a tree's outward appearance. A tree that appears to be green and flourishing can also possess hidden structural defects so serious that failure is imminent. With large trees, the consequences of a complete failure can be severe, causing extensive property damage and/or personal injury (or worse). Thus, I suspect this is why other tree professionals have recommended the tree's removal. I recommend that you follow the guidance of the tree professionals that have assessed the situation firsthand.


Responder: Jason Miller, RCA #526, Cinnaminson, NJ