March 12, 2016 12:15 am

What to do in Metro Van if there’s a dangerous tree on your property

WATCH: The tragic death of a Port Moody woman who was killed after a tree toppled over in Thursday's windstorm is raising questions about tree hazards and responsibility. Aaron McArthur has more on what homeowners need to know.

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A day after a windstorm left a woman dead after a tree fell on her Port Moody house while she was in bed, officials are reminding the public to contact their local government if they believe nearby trees pose a risk.

Dave Mainwaring, a certified utility arborist, said the best thing a homeowner can do – whether the tree is on private or public land – is a basic inspection to see if the tree roots surrounding their home are damaged.

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He said that “different types of trees respond differently to different weather aspects.”

“The size of trees [and] the root structure,” are factors that determine if a tree can withstand a torrential storm.

“We get really strong winds,”added Mainwaring.

People are being advised to keep an eye out for tree rot or for trees that stem in different directions.

Greg Moore, the Chair of Metro Vancouver, said homeowners should phone their city if their properties back onto government land and they have concerns about nearby trees.

“Give us a call and we will send someone out to look at those trees to make sure that they are healthy and that there in a good condition,” he said.

Local governments do take inventory of the forest on a regular basis but storms can make some trees unpredictable. “Public safety is our top priority,” said Moore.

“Always do some homework, if you’re not sure call the city or call a pro,” said Mainwaring.

“You don’t want just anybody grabbing a chainsaw and start cutting trees down because unless you know where that tree’s going to go once you start cutting.”

Moore also advises the public to not take matters into their own hands.

“Whether it’s government land, or your neighbour, or a private piece of property contact the owner, make sure they do a proper assessment of it.”

© 2016 Shaw Media

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