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Why Is Tree Trimming Necessary?

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Seattle Tree Trimming - Why Is It Necessary?

In our vibrant hometown of Seattle, lush greenery and towering trees add to the beauty and character of our neighborhoods.

Maintaining these natural assets is not only a matter of aesthetics but also safety and responsibility. Tree trimming, a critical component of tree care, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the health of your trees while safeguarding your property and complying with city regulations.

This post explores the necessity of Seattle tree trimming, focusing on safety trimming, roof and building clearance, and sidewalk and roadway clearance, to illuminate why it's an indispensable practice for every homeowner.

Safety Trimming

Out in the forests, no one is trimming trees. But in more urban & suburban communities, trees can pose risks to our homes and citizens, especially when neglected. Extended branches that loom over houses and power lines are not just an accident waiting to happen, they pose a potential liability.

Safety trimming, a proactive approach to tree care, involves the strategic removal of branches to reduce the risk of damage to property and prevent potential injuries.

During storms or high winds, which are not uncommon in the Seattle area, overextended branches can break off (especially if overloaded with ice or snow on the tips), causing significant damage to roofs, cars, and even result in power outages when they fall on utility lines. More insidiously, weak or dead branches, not always visible to the untrained eye, can drop with little to no warning, posing a serious risk to anyone underneath. Therefore, safety trimming is not just recommended; it's a crucial measure to protect your home and loved ones.

Safety trimming doesn't require extensive work -- it's often just identifying the right spots and trimming back to a natural growth point for the tree such that it can continue to thrive naturally.

Roof & Building Clearance

The proximity of tree limbs to your home not only threatens structural damage but also facilitates unwanted guests. Branches that touch or hang over your roof can serve as bridges for rodents and other pests, seeking entry into your warm and inviting attic or crawl spaces. Rats have been known to jump 4 to 6 feet from a tree branch to a roof!

Trimming these branches back is not only a matter of protecting your home from physical damage but also preventing an infestation that can be troublesome and costly to eradicate.

Moreover, branches that rub against roofs or sides of buildings can cause wear and tear on shingles and siding, leading to leaks and other structural issues over time. Maintaining a safe distance between trees and structures is essential, and regular trimming ensures that your home remains secure, pest-free, and in good repair. 

Don't forget to check your insurance policy - they may require you maintain roof clearance as well.

Sidewalk & Roadway Clearance

In Seattle, the interaction between urban infrastructure and nature is governed by specific regulations to ensure the safety and accessibility of public spaces.

Homeowners are responsible for maintaining a clearance of 8 feet over sidewalks and 14 feet over roads. This is not only a matter of civic duty but also a legal requirement to prevent obstructions that can impede pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Trees that encroach on sidewalks and roadways can create hazards for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. Low-hanging branches can obscure visibility, interfere with pedestrian traffic, and even cause injury. Similarly, branches that extend into roadways can pose risks to larger vehicles, including emergency services, potentially impeding their ability to respond quickly to emergencies.

Maintaining these clearances is especially important for street trees located in the planting strip, the area between the sidewalk and the road. While these trees enhance the streetscape and provide environmental benefits, they require regular trimming to ensure they do not become a source of obstruction or hazard.

Importantly, Seattle DOT requires that Seattle street tree trimming may only be completed by Registered Tree Service Providers -- Blooma is a TSP (LIC-TSP-125), so we can handle your street tree trimming for you.

Conclusion: The Importance of Professional Tree Trimming

Tree trimming is an essential aspect of tree care that ensures the safety of your property and the community, protects your home from damage and pests, and fulfills your civic responsibilities. However, it's a task that requires expertise, the right tools, and an understanding of tree biology to ensure it's done correctly and safely.

The last thing you (or your neighbors) want is your trees to have been hacked in an unnatural way. Over time, improper tree trimming can lead to unexpected issues in the trees, creating new safety hazards.

Professional tree service providers such as Blooma employ ISA-Certified Arborists to assess & scope out your trees' trimming needs. With their experience and equipment, our team can assess the condition of your trees, identify potential risks, and perform the necessary trimming with precision. This not only ensures the health and longevity of your trees but also safeguards your property and contributes to the safety and aesthetics of your neighborhood.

In Seattle, where the natural and urban environments are so closely intertwined, regular tree trimming is not just maintenance; it's a commitment to preserving the beauty and safety of our community. By understanding the necessity of tree trimming Seattle trees properly and engaging in responsible tree care, homeowners can protect their property, comply with local regulations, and contribute to the well-being of their neighborhood and the city at large.

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