Although you love the beauty and shade the trees on your property provide, you may start to suspect that one of them may be sick or ready to fall. If you are unsure, look for the following signs that your tree may need to be removed before it falls and causes injury or damage.
Exposed Roots Are Rotting Or Lifting Out Of The Ground
The first thing you should look at when determining whether a tree is at risk for falling is the root system. It is normal for some varieties to have some shallow roots that grow above ground, such as swamp maples and weeping willow trees. However, they should be flush with the ground with only small gaps between them and the dirt.
If you notice large gaps under the roots, along with an increase in the lean of the trunk, the tree may be starting to slowly pull itself out of the ground. When the angle of the lean increases, the weight of the tree will compound the problem. This could cause it to fall over completely, especially if the ground becomes saturated with rain.
While examining the roots, you also want to make sure that they are strong and alive. When you press on them with your hand, they should not break apart or crumble. If they do this, they have started to rot and may not be able to hold the tree's weight for much longer.
Open Cavities Are Forming In The Trunk
After inspecting the roots of the tree, turn your attention towards the trunk. In a normal, healthy tree, wood should be solid and most of the bark should be intact. There may also be natural knots and small openings in the trunk; however, you should be able to see a bottom that is not rotting or soft.
If you notice any areas of the trunk that are bare, take a closer look to see if the underlying wood is still hard. If there is a deep hole, use a screwdriver to press into the wood. This is to prevent yourself from placing your hand in a dark hole that could be home to insects or small animals.
While you are testing the integrity of the wood, you may find that it breaks off very easily or that the hole goes down deeper into the trunk. If this is the case, the large cavity within is weakening the strength of the trunk. It may not be able to withstand many windy days and could cause the tree to break off and fall.
Excess Dead Branches Are Seen In The Canopy Of The Tree
Once you have looked at the roots and trunk, the next part that needs to be inspected is the canopy. This is formed by the branches and leaves that give the tree its unique shape and fullness. Because some trees have thicker canopies than others, it can be difficult at times to tell whether or not there is any rotting or dead wood within it.
If you see a large number of branches that are obviously dead, there could be ones that have yet look like they are. The best way to determine this is to have a tree canopy inspection performed. This should be done by a certified arborist whom can usually be found through a tree service.
While one of these signs may not mean that you need your tree removed, seeing more than one may be a strong indicator. You may want to contact a tree service so that they can send someone out to evaluate the tree to see if it poses a threat and needs to be taken down. For more information, try clicking here.