Concern about a tree falling and causing property damage or worse, hurting a person is certainly something you should not take lightly. It’s also important to keep in mind that tree hazards can be a liability. If a tree or one of the branches falls and hurts someone or causes damage to another property, you could easily find yourself fighting an expensive lawsuit.
Whether you have concerns or simply want to be certain, you do not want to overlook a potentially hazardous tree. It is imperative to hire a tree specialist who can inspect and determine whether it is really dangerous or whether some of the issues you noticed are worth the concern.
In this read, we are going to provide signs that should tell you a tree is dangerous. While this post should not be a replacement for having your trees checked by a professional, we hope that by listing some of the common hazards, you can be able to tell whether a tree is potentially dangerous before it all comes falling down.
Getting to spot an issue early and calling a professional tree inspector reduces the chances of a problematic issue. Even when in doubt, it is always advisable to remain cautious when something is paramount.
That being said, here are the primary hazards to be on the look for:
(i) Hanging, Damaged, or Broken Limbs
Perhaps the most apparent sign of a potentially hazardous tree is a broken or hanging limb. A damaged one, however, is not so obvious a tree specialist is required to check for cracks or splits to determine the severity of the damage.
An ideal tree specialist will have binoculars to get a closer look at the upper limbs. Given fall-risk limbs are not always easy to detect, this is a good example as to why you should have your trees inspected, even if you don’t have broken or hanging limbs.
(ii) Dead Limbs
It is not just damaged, hanging or broken tree limbs that you should be concerned about. Limbs can sometimes be dead without realizing it until it is too late. Dead limbs can remain attached to the tree for years, with the disease or decay spreading, worsening its integrity over time.
(iii) Changes in the Bark
When two or more stems grow near each other, ingrown bark tissues can develop. When this happens, a V formation is created, which is likely to split or break with time. Although pruning is known to help avoid this, it is not uncommon to come across trees that were incorrectly pruned over time. Also, incorrect pruning can result in decay, weakened or damaged spots on the tree.
During an inspection, the tree specialist will search for included bark to tell whether it’s a concern. They will also search for a peeling or discolored bark, as these can be signs of disease. Although some trees shed their bark naturally, that is not the case for all species.
(iv) A Leaning Tree
If you are looking at a leaning tree, the specialist will factor in several aspects, primarily, how long it has been leaning. Is it a new change or has it been like that for a long time? Is it leaning more today than last week or not? These are some of the questions the arborist will ask during the inspection and the answers will determine the overall assessment of the tree’s safety,
These are just a few of the important signs that you and the professional should take into consideration to determine whether a tree is a danger.