If your property is surrounded by a landscape of trees, it is important to know how to properly identify a dangerous tree or tree hazard in order to prevent structural damages, accidents, and injuries. This is especially important for properties located on wooded lots.
Factors That Cause Tree Instability
There are many circumstances that can weaken a tree, including improper tree care, pest infestation, nutrient or water deficiency, co-dominant stems, trunk and basal rot, overextended limbs, limbs with too much weight, wildlife interference, weather damage, construction damage, and more. Once weakened, a tree loses strength and stability and experiences a reduction in function and performance, which makes it unpredictable, and therefore, unsafe to be around.
Something as simple as a strong storm or heavy winds can send a tree falling, or break off large limbs and branches. This can jeopardize homes, buildings, cars, power lines, telephone poles, and worse, people. When you know how to point out a tree hazard, you are one step ahead of protecting yourself, your family, and your assets. Continue reading to learn the signs of a dangerous tree, what to do if you find one, and how to prevent tree hazards.
How to Identify a Dangerous Tree
Be sure to inspect your landscaping trees regularly to catch problems and concerns early on. Addressing problem areas in their early stages is generally less expensive and time-consuming. Depending on the season, it is recommended to inspect your landscaping trees once a month, and additionally, after heavy storms. To identify a tree hazard, there are specific signs to look for. Below are the most evident signs of a dangerous tree.
Over-Leaning Trunk. This is one of the most evident signs that a tree is a potential hazard and could fall over at any moment. If a tree’s lean exceeds 15 degrees, it needs to be removed. A tree that leans naturally is not a hazard.
Large or Multiple Dead Branches. When your tree is full of dead or dying branches, especially very large ones, it is not unlikely that they will eventually drop off. And it could happen at any time, even without strong winds or storms.
Fallen Branches. When a tree starts to lose multiple branches and bits of twig, it is a sign that something is going wrong. This type of tree behavior could be for a list of reasons, so you must seek professional assistance.
Hole in the Trunk. If a tree has a large hole in it, there might not be enough support holding up the trunk. This is usually caused by internal tree trunk decay, which can be caused by self-pruning and more. As long as there is enough strong wood surrounding the hole, it should be safe.
Leaf Loss. If your tree is losing leaves from the outside of the canopy and inward, it is not a good sign. This type of leaf loss pattern is a common indication of a root problem. If a tree has an unhealthy root system, it can be prone to falling over.
Rotted Root System. It is challenging to spot root rot without experience, however, with routine tree inspections, you can catch the signs early enough to prevent dangerous tree decline. A common sign of inner root rot is fungus growth on the bark.
Common Solutions for Tree Hazards:
⇢ Tree Removal
⇢ Cable and Bracing
⇢ Routine Tree Care
⇢ Tree Thinning
⇢ Tree Topping