A tree about to fall poses a hazard to life and property, but how can you tell when one on your property is close to taking a tumble? Here are three signs you can look for – if you notice them, call an arborist!
Cracked, Splitting, Or Missing Bark
One sign that can be apparent even to amateurs is problems with the trunk and bark. Sometimes, dying trees will have bald spots where the bark is missing or can easily peel off. If the bark is flaking off in large sections, the tree can break at that spot.
These spots could form open wounds, which could lead to decay inside the tree. If there’s enough solid wood around the cavity and it appears isolated, your tree is probably not going to break in half; however, the people best positioned to make this assessment are arborists.
Dead Or Falling Branches And Leaves
When a tree can’t use nutrients, it can fall into ill health and possibly die, making it likely to fall over. Long before the tree falls, however, it will shed other parts. One tell-tale sign of an ill tree is dead or dying leaves. If the tree is dropping an excessive amount of leaves out of season, pick up one of the leaves and examine it. Discolouration and shrivelling means the tree doesn’t have enough nutrients to provide the leaves. Something is disrupting the systems that send food throughout the tree, and if you notice dead leaves or a brown canopy, you may have time to correct it.
A large number of dead branches, or ones hanging off other limbs, is a sign that the tree is dying or dead. The tree is likely trying to reduce the amount of tissue it has to feed and sustain, a form of “self-pruning.” To check, pick up a fallen branch and look for rotting or bug damage; you can also put on the right protective equipment and look closely at branches in the tree. Seeing dead branches in a tree or on the ground around the tree doesn’t mean the tree will fall over; however, they are clues as to the current state of the tree.
The most obvious – and dangerous – sign is leaning. If you see that a tree on your property has begun to lean and has some of the preceding signs, it’s because the tree is no longer healthy enough to stay upright. You should take any leaning in trees seriously and contact an arborist immediately.
However, even healthy trees can lean dangerously. The most common reason is that the tree grows in a direction that lets it extend its branches and leaves out into the sunlight. Leaning can occur when a larger object obstructs the tree’s ability to get into the sun, often a building or another tree blocking the sun.
A tree with any of the above signs could fall in inclement weather, and if left alone, it could drop even with no influence from the weather. If you notice any of the symptoms, have a professional arborist from Brockley Tree Services come and look at it.