How to Spot a Dangerous Tree – Know the Signs

We love our trees. They provide shade, keep the soil together, protect our water reserves, clean the air, help with climate control and provide shelter to animals. They also make our parks, avenues and gardens beautiful.

However, there comes a time when a tree can pose a real danger to your home or neighborhood. And when that happens, you’ll have to take decisive steps to address the problem. But how do you know for sure when a tree poses certain risks?

Let’s find out.

1. When it leans or lurches

Not every tree that appears to lean poses a danger, especially when it has a healthy root network. But you need to take note if your tree has been growing upright and starts to lean or lurch for no reason, or if strong winds may have partially uprooted it. You need to get it checked by an arborist quickly or get it removed completely as it might completely give. Remember, falling trees pose a risk to property and people, so play it safe.

2. When it shows signs of damage or disease

A healthy tree is easy to spot: Leaves have the right colour and shape, the trunk is intact and shows no signs of peeling (except for some types of birches and maples) and it exhibits annual growth (especially for young trees).

However, be sure to call in an arborist or tree removal expert if you spot the following signs of abnormality, damage or disease:

  • Multiple trunks
  • New branches growing too close to the base
  • Wilted, yellow, dead or falling leaves that are unnatural to the season
  • Deep cracks in the trunk
  • Hollow trunk
  • Root damage
  • Branches falling for no reason

Any of the above characteristics indicate decay, damage and disease, so get your tree checked immediately.

3. When it grows too close to your house or other structures

Sometimes people miscalculate the proximity of the tree they planted to their house, so it may end up encroaching on the physical structure. If your tree has extended so far that its branches are already touching the roof of your house, you may need to get it trimmed regularly or removed as it can cause real damage during storms and windy weather.

The same can be said of trees that grow into power lines as these can get tangled with the cables and pose a major fire hazard.

4. When trees start falling or dying one after the other

If you start to see a pattern of trees belonging to one network or neighboring trees beginning to gradually die off, there may already be a growing fungal network in the area. This can put trees of the same species within the area at a serious risk. And if trees growing in a clump start dying, those in the inner circle become vulnerable and be unable to cope with strong winds. You need to call in a tree expert to investigate what’s happening and save those that can still be salvaged.

Trees are essential to our health and important to the environment, so if you spot any of the above signs, call an arborist or tree removal experts to help.

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