Here at Target Trees, we’ve always taken enormous pride in offering the most comprehensive range of products and services possible. From the simplest of home tree maintenance jobs to long-term tree management projects for industrial and commercial customers, we like to think that no matter what is needed or when, you can count on us to get the job done.
Which is why alongside our standard range of tree management and maintenance services, we also offer a rapid 24-hour emergency callout service. The reason being that we understand and acknowledge the fact that trees aren’t always in the habit of giving fair warning, before going and doing something downright dangerous. In fact, they often have a habit of taking every single one of us completely by surprise!
When this happens, you can count on Target Trees to offer the fastest, most efficient and most effective service possible. Nevertheless, we are often asked by our customers what exactly constitutes an emergency callout and whose responsibility it is to deal with it. Assuming it’s somebody else’s responsibility is the common approach taken by most, but is also the approach most likely to lead to dangerous accidents and incidents.
What Constitutes an Emergency?
We understand that drawing the line between an everyday problem involving trees and a genuine arboreal emergency can be difficult. After all, if you take sufficient time to examine and evaluate any tree out there, you might find signs and suggestions that it could eventually cause a problem. Which is why it isn’t usually necessary to spend your time looking for trouble, but if you do come across something that appears to present an imminent danger to any persons or property in the vicinity, this qualifies as an emergency.
Just a few common examples of this include broken branches that look as if they are ready to fall on to roads, buildings or public areas, whole trees that are in danger of falling, trees that have already fallen and are causing an obstruction, debris lying on public roads that could cause a danger to traffic, trees that are for any reason encroaching too close to power lines and so on. It’s a relatively extensive list – one that includes absolutely any instance whatsoever where one or more trees could potentially cause an accident, injury or dangerous obstruction in the near future.
What to Do
If you come across any such example of a potential problem in the making or one that has already happened, the most important message of all is to simply not overlook it. Most people simply carry on walking or driving, under the assumption that somebody else must have already reported it or at least intends to do so. Suffice to say, if everyone proceeds in the same manner, a problem doesn’t get dealt with. And the longer he remains unaddressed, the bigger the danger it poses.
Instead, we recommend immediately getting in touch with the Target Trees team to report the problem. As we operate a 24-hour emergency service, we are available around the clock to offer our advice, support and service where required. As it is better to be safe than sorry, it is always worth getting in touch.
Given the nature of the problem, it may be unsafe for you to personally approach the affected area for a closer look. For example, if it appears that a tree is about to fall or any large branches are in danger of coming loose, the best advice is to keep a safe distance. If possible however, it could be advantageous to use your smartphone to take pictures of the problem, which can then be passed on the relevant authorities, property owner or the Target Trees team for evaluation. Once again though, this should only be attempted if it is 100 safe to do so.
Liability and Ownership
What’s important to remember is that if you come across an emergency that doesn’t concern any trees on your property, you of course have absolutely no liability and nor is it your responsibility to pay to have the problem addressed. Instead, this falls with whoever it is that owns the property/land in question and is therefore the rightful owner of the tree or trees. It could be a private owner or perhaps the local council/government, in the case of trees in public areas, surrounding UK highways and so on.
For obvious reasons, and wherever possible, the emergency should be reported directly to those in ownership of the tree(s) who hold liability for their safety. Should you be unsure as to who holds liability or how to get in touch with them, we advise getting in touch with the Target Trees emergency team for further advice and support.
That said, if the tree does belong to you and is positioned on your property, it is absolutely your responsibility to ensure that the matter is dealt with as quickly and responsibly as possible. Should you fail to do so, any accident, injury or damage caused as a result of the accident is something that you personally may be held liable for. Even if it appears as if the risk is relatively low, it is still not worth taking the chance given the unpredictability of trees at the best of times.
For more information on our emergency tree surgery services or to discuss a job, get in touch with the Target Trees team today on 01603 916154.