4 Ways to Spot a Dangerous Tree

August 6, 2019
August 6, 2019 Ryan McFadgen

4 Ways to Spot a Dangerous Tree

Many people view trees as giant, gentle spirits that guard our forests and shade our homes. But yes, they can also be dangerous  (not intentionally, of course). Every year, people are hurt or killed by falling trees and branches, and property damages from these incidents can be expensive. Since trees usually give you some clear signs that they are unhealthy or at risk of falling, it’s a good idea to regularly inspect the trees in your yard.

Check the ground around each tree. We know that a tree is supported by its root system, but what happens if the roots are less than healthy? A tree can fall at any time, but an unhealthy foundation makes that more likely. Check the ground where it meets the trunk, and look for fungi (a sign of rotting). Cracked or raised soil around the base of the tree might also indicate a disturbance beneath the surface.

Inspect the trunk. Cracks or cavities in the trunk mean that the entire tree is at risk of splitting. If bark is falling off the trunk in spots, this could indicate that the tree is dying or is under attack by a fungus. In some cases the tree could be saved, but often these signs signal the end of a tree’s natural life. It is becoming frail and is therefore a hazard.

Assess the overall tree. Is it leaning? Are there sections of obvious damage? Can you spot dead branches that seem to be just barely hanging on?

Look up at the canopy. Do you spot dead wood or spots where the branches don’t have leaves? This can be a bad sign.

If you notice anything suspicious going on with your trees, please give us a call. We will come out and inspect them, and help you decide if a diseased or weak tree needs to go (or just needs to be trimmed). It’s always better to remove a risk, than wait and see if it falls on your house, car, or other property.

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