The last thing you want on your property is a dangerous tree. If you don’t attend to it and dead branches or the entire tree come down, you could be dealing with an expensive — or even life-threatening — mistake.
So how will you know if your tree is posing a threat to safety? Let’s take a look.
If you have a tree with a bare trunk and a bushy canopy at the top, it may be dangerous. While it may appear to be thriving, the weight concentrated at the top of the tree could result in falling branches.
Get a trained arborist to assess your tree and undertake remedial action such as regular pruning of the branches. This will keep your tree looking good and keeping safe.
When you find a branch hanging off your tree, you need to get it assessed by an expert. Even if it doesn’t seem that big or no bad weather is predicted, you don’t want to be caught out by the damage a falling branch can do.
Another good reason to have an unstable branch professionally removed is that the tree could be infested with insects or fungi and cause further damage.
Dead branches are obvious signs of an ailing tree. In spring and summer it will be easier to spot any dead areas compared to healthy branches with fresh leaves.
You may also see dead branches around the base of the tree. This can mean that there is further decay higher up, so best to get an arborist to assess the situation.
Holes in the trunk
Holes in the trunk of a tree can allow water into its core, leading to decay. They can also be a breeding ground for fungi or insects that will weaken your tree further and make it dangerous. This is especially true if the hole is near the base.
Falling leaves out of season
If your tree is shedding leaves when it shouldn’t be, or if its leaves look diseased, call in an expert to assess the damage. You may notice that the leaves are turning yellow, have developed spots or show signs of fungus or mould growth.
If left to deteriorate, your tree may suddenly shed branches and pose a serious threat to safety.
Sudden or progressive leaning
While some trees lean naturally, you need to watch out for any that suddenly starts leaning. You should be especially vigilant after a storm or if you see cracks in the soil around the base of the trunk — this could mean that the tree might come down soon.
It’s not easy to know whether there’s something wrong with a tree’s roots. But you can often see signs above ground such as fungi around the tree’s base that could indicate weakness.
Wet or compacted soil around the tree is another tell-tale sign that the roots have been weakened.
Finally, if there have been holes dug in close proximity to your tree, perhaps because of building work, its roots may have been damaged.
The final word is don’t take risks with dangerous trees. Consulting a tree expert is the best way to prevent your tree from becoming a threat to life and limb, and can save you a lot of expense and worry in the long term.