Tree Inspections

A Tree Inspection is performed at ground level and is an examination for obvious defects or concerns. It is a “walk-around” of the tree and usually provides enough information for informed choices to be made about what is appropriate for the tree in question. This is the least expensive/least invasive type of evaluation.


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Tree Inspection Sample Report on Deodar Cedar

On Saturday, June 19th, 2021 at the request of ************  I visited the above-referenced property to evaluate a Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara).

Once there I discovered a mature specimen in the front yard by the northwest corner of the house.
The tree has suffered several draconian pruning episodes in the past with unmistakable signs of a long-ago topping event that removed the primary leader and has resulted in multiple spindly leaders at the top of the tree as this mangled tree attempts to regain its lost height.

Whether because of this long-ago misfortune or from other causes, the trunk of the tree at its base – the butt of the tree – has been colonized by fungus and is of uncertain structural integrity.

My examination of the tree was limited to a ground-based inspection and no root-crown excavation was performed. Therefore, this evaluation and its conclusions are preliminary and additional probing, excavation and examination may be expected to add additional information.

Nevertheless, I think it unlikely that a more robust examinations would provide any important information which would meaningfully alter the findings of this report.


The tree is between 50′ and 60′ tall with a canopy spread of about 35′. The diameter is 34.4″ at DSH (Diameter at Standard Height, the industry standard measurement taken at 54″ above grade) and the root flares occur above grade at the butt of the tree where the diameter is closer to 40″.
The tree is vigorous but has numerous structural anomalies, the most concerning of which is the exposed heartwood at the butt of the tree.

There are 2 areas of exposed heartwood that likely indicate the presence of fungus in the root crown, that portion of the tree where the trunk transitions from pole (trunk) to starfish (roots). One is facing east and is over 2feet is width, tapering up to close at about 41⁄2 feet above grade. The second area lacking bark,  is facing north, and is about 2/3rd of a foot in width.


The heartwood thus exposed at these two sites does not show evident signs of degradation, but the task of bark is like the job performed by our skin – bark is an envelope engineered to protect the material it encloses and when it is missing there is peril of infection, an invasion by pathogenic organisms normally kept at bay. For trees, one of those pathogens is fungus which can degrade the wood and diminish the structural integrity of the tree to dangerous levels. Such degradation can occur on the inside of the tree and therefore not be visible from the outside.

On the faces where the heartwood is exposed the tree has a flattened profile. This is indicative of long- term presence of these problems as the tree grown around the dead portion in an attempt to reinforce the weak and compromised area. This suggests that the problem is long-standing and that the tree is trying to build up reinforcing tissue which is i what trees do – absent the ability to re-grow damaged tissue, they grow aggressively around the problem area to try to hold themselves together.

Trees are exposed to tremendous forces from nature and gravity and their success rates are astonishing considering the insults they endure – drought, poor management practices, root severing events like trenching for plumbing, toxic air, tainted water and surrounding hardscape like roads, sidewalks, pathways and foundations – but a weakened tree is of concern and trees do not send postcards. They fail when they fail and the best we can do is look for suspect specimens and attempt to solve problems before they become manifest.


This tree has been roughly handled in the past and it is not a good example of this noble species. Its form is at variance with the classical shape of the Deodar, its top is shaggy with weakly-attached spires where the tree has tried to regain its lost height, the butt of the tree shows heartwood on two sides and the toppling of this tree, should that occur, could be catastrophic.

Consider for removal.