Sunday, June 29, 2014

8 Signs that the Next Storm May Take Out Your Trees

Do you have a hazardous tree or two in your yard? Would you know if you did? Summer storms can be severe and the last thing you need or want is property damage because the storm took out all or part of your tree. We know that the majority of our customers don't even realize that some of their trees are in a condition that could pose a very dangerous situation should the tree become more stressed for any reason. 

Here are the 8 most common warning signs that I see day in and day out at work. 

 1. History. Past tree care and circumstances can affect the health of your trees. Things like construction, trenches, and tree topping can all have adverse effects on your tree. By-the-way, you should never tree top - but that's a whole other discussion!

You also need to see if roots have been cut or disturbed. If so, then it is likely that the tree will become unstable.

2. A leaning tree. Trees do not necessarily grow straight up. However, trees with a significant lean
can indicate a problem. Your tree should not look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Look for cracked soil and exposed roots around the base of the tree which may indicate the tree has recently begun to lean.

3. Just how many trunks does your tree have? Some trees develop multiple trunks. Trees with multiple trunks can break if the trunks are weakly attached. Trunks with splits or cracks have a high failure potential. Inspect these trees for cracks or splits where the trunks meet.

4. Weakly Attached Branches. Inspect branches where they attach to the trunk. Tight V-shaped forks are more prone to break than open U-shaped unions. Trees with splits, cracks, and/or several branches  arising from the same point on the trunk can also present problems.

5. Cavities & Decay Pockets. No, not in your teeth! On your trees! Inspect the trunk or branches for peeling bark and hollow or decayed areas. Large decay pockets and decay where branches meet the
trunk can indicate problems. Mushrooms or conks growing on or at the base of a tree are signs of decay-causing fungus.

6. Trunk & Branch Cracks. Inspect the trunk and large branches for cracks. Deep, large cracks indicate structural weakness in the tree and need careful evaluation.

7. Hangers (not those things that are in your closet). Hangers are broken branches still lodged in the tree. Whether partially attached or separately completed from the trunk, hangers are likely to fall and should be removed. Stubs left by broken branches should be pruned correctly.

8. Deadwood. Deadwood, or dead branches, are a normal part of a tree’s growth pattern but will eventually fall. Branches over two inches in diameter can cause serious damage when they fall. Removal of all deadwood may not be critical, but deadwood should not be ignored.
So, why is this so bad? A hazardous tree can do harm at any moment. If a tree is deemed hazardous, keep people, pets, and vehicles out of the area until the hazardous condition has been corrected. Seek professional help from a Certified Arborist to evaluate potential hazards before the next storm hits. 

Certified Arborists

Certified Arborists can recommend the proper course of action to keep your trees safer and healthier. A professional tree care company should have at least one certified Arborist on staff to help you. 

Thanks for Reading,
Jenni Willis
President and CEO, Trees "R" Us, Inc.

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