Urban Forest Pros, an arborist company in Portland, works to preserve, maintain and remove trees in the urban core. One of the company’s board-certified master arborists, Lisa Tadewaldt, has been in the industry for about 25 years — but she says weather conditions seem to be more of an issue recently.
According to Tadewaldt, Friday’s weather conditions have caused Urban Forest Pros to receive its highest call volume this year. She reports that most calls are coming from Northwest Portland, but there are crews in Lake Oswego responding to calls about fallen trees and limbs as well.
Additionally, Portland Parks & Recreation Public Information Officer Mark Ross reports that Urban Forestry crews had been notified of about 30 issues with trees or limbs on public property as of 12 p.m. on Friday.
Strong winds and rain can increase the probability of downed trees, but there are preventative measures homeowners can take in non-emergency situations.
“If you maintain your trees, you’re decreasing the chances of this sort of thing,” Tadewaldt said. “You can never eliminate it, but when you buy a house, you should have the trees in your yard looked at… there might not be something that needs to be done, but we’re at least coming out every three years to see how things are looking.”
The arborist added that any wounds, cavities, or branches that make a narrow V-shape instead of a wide V-shape could be a sign of weakness. Any changes to the tree’s environment, such as new landscaping, dying branches, a sudden bug problem or standing water, could be a reason to call a professional — even if it’s just for a quote.
But there are some issues with fallen trees that urban forestry companies cannot handle themselves.
“People should know that if it falls on the power lines at all, you should call the power company because they have to do their work first,” Tadewaldt said. “If it falls in the right of way, which means the sidewalk or the street, then usually the city will take care of it. And then we’re basically everything else. If it falls on your house or your garage, it’s covered by insurance so we just bill the insurance company for the work.”
If someone reports a fallen tree to Portland’s Urban Forestry crews, Ross says the team’s priorities are to secure the area and stabilize any remaining debris before removing it.
Portland Urban Forestry explains what constitutes a tree emergency here.
In case of an emergency, call 503-823-TREE and push 1.