A beautiful home surrounded by greenery, leafy shrubs, and tall, gorgeous trees is pretty much everyone’s dream. However, those luscious plants can sometimes be more hazardous than you’d think. Branches flailing in the night and trees suddenly collapsing into a home occur fairly often, and you would do best by ensuring their health to make sure that both your home and your family are safe.
Many homeowners aren’t quite sure what to look for or how to tell whether a tree is dangerous or not. Sometimes the signs are obvious, but usually, it’s difficult to tell.
The following primer should help you identify the potentially hazardous trees that might be threatening you and your loved ones.
If you observe that the tree in your backyard or front yard has a hole in its trunk, then this might be a warning sign. While a cavity in the trunk might just be a result of the tree pruning itself by dropping a branch, it’s still best to double-check as the gaping hole can allow for decay and rot to fester. You can only tell if this is benign by assessing the amount of wood that seems healthy around the cavity. If all looks well, then the tree is not at risk of falling.
It’s one thing if the tree in question is dropping a branch or two, but it’s quite another when entire branches fall off. This is a glaring sign of decay or an indicator that the tree is rather unhealthy. Trees only drop whole branches when they are trying to make themselves smaller to require less “food” in order to sustain themselves.
That’s not the only thing to worry about, however. Dead branches are perhaps the biggest danger there is. It’s rare to find a whole tree collapse, but a branch falling and crashing into your house or car can happen at any moment, even on a day wherein the weather is relatively calm. So be on the lookout for these and have them taken care of sooner rather than later.
This one is a bit of a doozy since you will have trouble assessing whether or not the roots are rotten on your own. The expert arborists over at this website have a few interesting pointers that can help you determine whether the roots are in decline, and they can also recommend the necessary steps needed to deal with the situation if the roots were, indeed, rotten. One telltale sign is when there are mushrooms growing at the base of the tree. This can be a pretty obvious clue that the tree is rotting from the inside out.
If the bark of a tree is missing some parts or has several deep cracks, then this can also be a pretty bad sign. It means that the tree is at risk of breaking at the place of the gash, and will eventually fall. It’s best to remove these trees as soon as possible.
Observe the crown
If the crown contains V-shaped forks or is completely lopsided, then this is a telltale sign that they are rather weak. If, however, the forks and branches have a broader angle, then you’re in the clear.
Since branches in the crown die in response to stress, you should look closely to determine whether the tree has been left to the mercy of insects, fungi, long stretches of drought, issues with the soil or root, etc. If these problems are caught in time, you can just get the tree pruned by professionals and have it spring back to life. If, however, the tree exhibits extreme levels of stress, then it is on its way to dying and should be removed immediately.
Many trees are meant to grow at an angle or are naturally tilted, and this is absolutely fine. However, you should be careful about a tree trunk that is leaning more than fifteen degrees due to either wind or root damage. These might definitely fall, leaving plenty of harm in their wake.
Strange, entangled branches
Again, look to the crown of your tree. If the branches are tight and grow inextricably close together in a v-shape rather than a distinct u-shape, then this might be another bad sign. When the wind blows at such trees, they tend to crumble right away, making them incredibly dangerous.
A tree that exhibits any of the above signs is at risk of breaking apart or falling altogether. If this happens, you or your family might get hurt and your property might incur a great deal of damage, which is why the sooner you take stock of the trees’ condition, the better. So, keep an eye out for the above-mentioned symptoms and don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you’re not sure how to properly deal with them.