The trees on your property enhance it in many ways. Not only do they add aesthetic appeal by looking beautiful, but trees often hold sentimental value by being meaningful to homeowners in a special way. Trees also offer valuable shade that can be difficult to achieve otherwise. While homeowners tend to really appreciate the trees on their property, if they are concerned in any way that a tree might fall or cause damage, then their trees are likely causing a lot of unrest. After all, tree hazards are a serious liability and one that cannot be ignored.
But how can you know whether your tree actually poses a risk?
Identifying a problem early on and getting professional help can decrease your risk of a serious accident. That’s why we’ve rounded up some important signs to look for that could indicate a problem with your tree that warrants further investigation.
A Hanging Limb
Let’s start with the obvious. A broken, hanging, or damaged limb is a telltale sign that your tree poses risk. If your property has recently been through a storm, you might want to do a quick check of your trees to look for hanging limbs. Of course, limb damage isn’t always super obvious. Sometimes a split or crack in a limb can weaken it and make it a future risk. A professional tree inspector can assess your tree and determine whether it has any weak points that could pose future problems.
Missing Bark or Deep Cracks
The bark of your tree can also go a long way in indicating a potential problem. For instance, discolored or peeling bark can indicate that there is a potential disease brewing—such as a tree fungus. Generally speaking, an area where tree bark is missing or indented is called a canker, which weakens the tree at that spot. Cracks or deep slits in the tree can also be problematic.
Problems at the Roots
Looking down at the roots can also help you determine whether your tree may have a problem at hand. Do you notice the ground heaving up as though the tree is becoming uprooted? Is there decay or fungi at the root base, such as in the form of mushrooms? Or, is there any sign of root damage? Roots are sometimes damaged during construction activities but don’t show signs of that damage until several years down the road. Some signs of root damage include wilting, thinning foliage, undersized leaves, dead branches, and limited overall growth of your tree.
A tree that leans isn’t always a fall risk. After all, trees rarely grow perfectly vertical. A slight lean may be the result of your tree trying to reach toward the most possible sunlight during its growth. But a noticeable lean is definitely one that warrants inspection—particularly if it’s a new change. A tree that has suddenly started leaning (seemingly overnight) may actually be starting to fall.
When in Doubt, Ask for Help
If you’re not sure whether your tree is dangerous, it’s always best to have a professional look it over. In some cases, there may be steps you can take to preserve the health of your tree and prevent the need to have it removed. For instance, if your tree is struggling with a disease, the proper identification and treatment could get you on a path toward restored health.
Tree pruning can also go a long way to restoring tree health. The act of cutting out diseased, dying, or dead limbs eliminates the risk that these limbs will fall on their own. It also prevents the overall health of the tree from continuing to decline.
Even some damage is fixable. For instance, cabling or bracing might be an option if you have a storm-damaged tree that you’d like to save.
But if your tree is beyond fixing and is going to continue to pose a fall risk, then a professional may advise you have it removed. After all, it’s important to make a choice that will protect your property—and the people on it.
At Exscape Designs, we care about you and your property and want to help you make the best possible decisions for it. Whether you’re looking to restore the health of your trees, require pruning services, or want to have them removed completely, we can help. We can guide you in the process of making smart choices for your property so that you don’t have to be worrying about your trees but can instead get back to enjoying them to the fullest.