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Identifying Hazardous Trees

Identifying Hazardous Trees

Every year in all areas of the country falling tree limbs cause countless deaths or result in thousands of dollars in damages. Unfortunately, many of these accidents could have been prevented if the trees in question had been pruned or cut back beforehand. Many homeowners choose to cut these beautiful trees down when it isn’t really necessary because they have heard the horror stories from others who have had an unfortunate accident befall them. They want to protect themselves, but don’t really know how to. So, they decide to eliminate the tree altogether.

Yes, it is true that having a very large tree hovering over your house can be a cause for concern. Even if the tree is in perfect health and flourishing, there is still the concern that weather can play havoc with it. Storms, high winds, accumulated ice on the branches, severe bouts of heavy rain that soften the soil and weaken the roots are just a few of the things that can put you, your home, and surroundings in potential danger. Mother Nature often plays mean tricks, and cannot be depended on. There are several things that you can do to protect both yourself and keep that beautiful tree, but nothing is ever perfectly safe.

If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to call on the services of a certified arborist to help you identify potential hazards. He or she can easily recognize signs that may not be noticeable to the homeowners, and can come up with viable solutions to any the problem. One of the most positive steps you can take, however, is to thoroughly inspect your trees after a storm, change of season, or high winds. There are several things to look for that may give you an idea about whether the tree is a potential accident waiting to happen. Make sure to take a good, hard look at all the trees you own, not just the one that is in close proximity to the house or roof.

Check first to see if the tree is leaning more than it used to, and which direction it is leaning. Does it seem to be closer to the roof than before, or was it always that way? Take note of any broken branches or limbs, especially if you have had severe storms lately. Splits in the trunk can indicate a hazard because the tree has the potential for falling. Does the tree show signs of leaves falling earlier than normal for your area? Are there parts of the tree that already have no leaves? These signs all point to the fact that you really should call a tree care expert to help you out. Prevention is the best way to avoid accidents from hazardous trees. Of course, if the tree is located in an isolated area of your yard, even if it falls it will cause only a little damage. It’s the ones that are close that you really have to worry about.

Inspect the ground under the tree. You may have a root problem that could cause the tree to topple in the gentlest of breezes, even if it has great foliage and looks completely healthy. You can’t see what is happening underground, but you may be able to see root rot or upheaval where the trunk meets the ground. You are going to need a professional opinion if you spy any of these. Fungus can cause considerable trouble if not addressed quickly. Since fungus is usually only seen on dead or decaying wood this is another sign that your tree is in trouble, and it is time to call the professionals.

Do you have a lot of dead branches or limbs on the ground under the tree? This may be another way to identify a hazardous tree. Some branches do fall during storms and high winds, or from the weight of ice in the winter. This is a normal occurrence. If you see branches that are broken or without leaves, there is a very good chance that there are more up in the tree that you can’t see. If you have never had the tree pruned this is especially true and you need to have them taken care of by a tree pruning company before they come crashing down on top of something-like your car!

Take a good look at the bark of the tree. Do you notice any cracks or splits? Are there any areas where the bark is completely missing? If you see a rather long streak of missing bark, the tree was probably struck by lightning at one time or another without you even knowing it. Make sure to do periodical checks afterward to see if the leaves are falling off, a sure sign that the tree may not survive the lightning strike. Another sign of sickness or disease is trails or spots of noticeable sawdust, which means some type of insect is eating the tree and must be eradicated as soon as possible. Good tree care is essential if you want to keep your trees!

No matter what type, or how many trees you have on your property it is very important to keep them pruned and cleaned out from season to season, or after any weather that has caused problems. Trees not only add to the value of your property, but are an essential part of the environment. A professional arborist is the only person who can advise you how to care for your trees and keep your home safe as well as aesthetically pleasing. It’s not only the beauty of the trees, but the necessity of keeping your home and surroundings safe. You never want to wake up some morning to find that your tree has fallen on your roof, or worse yet, that of your neighbor. Prevention is key, so don’t take any chances by neglecting to hire professional care for your trees!

In many instances, the arborist you hire will not usually recommend tree cutting if the tree can be saved. They would much rather save the tree if at all possible, while removing the parts that could be considered hazardous to you. A certified arborist is trained to recognize all signs that indicate the state of your tree, and a legitimate arborist will be frank and honest with you. There are some tree companies out there that recommend cutting down any tree, anytime they are called, but this is more of a money making ploy. An arborist who is certified will look for ways to save the tree before recommending its removal.

Please ask questions of anyone who comes to inspect your tree. If he/she states that the tree has to come down, ask why! Anything less than a knowledgeable answer with evidence supporting it should be considered unreliable. The company is probably just looking to make themselves some quick money. Get another opinion, and don’t worry about what he/she thinks. Your trees are valuable assets to your property and you want to keep them if at all possible. Check with friends or neighbors who have had tree specialists inspect their own trees, and ask for references. Progressive Tree Service is a professional certified arborist.

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