A dead tree is an obvious hazard, but what of other trees on your property? Do you know the other signs that your tree is a hazard and may need removal to keep you and your property safe? Could you have living hazard trees hiding in your back yard? We outline the signs of hazardous tree conditions to help you with your tree maintenance planning and preventative care.
Obvious Hazardous Tree Conditions
Some problems are obvious enough that anyone can recognize them. If you see these, call a certified tree removal company to take care of your hazard tree removal needs.
- Split trees
- Leaning trees
- Trees where decay of the heart exceeds 1/3 of the core and mushrooms, conks and brackets are growing on root flares, stems and branches
- Branches larger than 2 inches show signs of decay
- Less than 1” of sound wood remains for every 6” in diameter
- Trees where one branch is significantly larger than the rest of the crown
Less Obvious Hazardous Tree Conditions
A certified arborist is trained to evaluate the distribution of branches for proper balance. Improper pruning is one factor that can lead to an unbalanced tree.
Some pruning techniques, such as topping or pollarding, encourage sucker growth, which may break off easily in high winds. Branches that have excessive growth at the tips and look much like a lion’s tail are also prone to breakage.
A certified arborist can help you decide whether complete removal of the tree is the best strategy or whether pruning can save the tree. And because removal of a tree can impact the trees around it, a professional will be able to help you choose the best strategies for protecting the remaining trees and surrounding landscape.
Benefits of Routine Certified Arborist’s Inspection
Most business and home owners aren’t trained to identify the signs that a tree is developing issues, which is one reason it’s a good idea to call in a certified arborist. While reading can be helpful, actual experience is especially important for accurately assessing whether a tree has defects that present danger.
Systematic inspection is an important part of ensuring that trees on your property do not pose a hazard to people or property. A professional inspection by a certified arborist begins with an assessment of the tree’s overall health. This includes considering the species of tree and known tendencies toward defects. For example, maples tend to form weak branch unions which tend to break readily under storm conditions. It also includes evaluating the tree’s age and size and the number of defects present.
An inspection could reveal more than dead wood needing removal. It could also reveal problems from the ground to the top. When twig dieback appears in the crown it can be a sign of root damage.
If signs of extensive root decay are detected, hazard tree removal should be scheduled promptly. The weight of the tree’s canopy could topple it quite unexpectedly.
Co-dominant stems in the crown of a tree can also indicate a potential hazard. Rot may be hidden in the bark between these stems. The next storm could snap the tree.
Detection = protection
Whether problems are obvious or not, it is a good practice to have your trees evaluated by a certified arborist. Early detection and active intervention can protect your investment and enhance the curb appeal of your property.