Trees are essential to our wellbeing. They provide us with oxygen, reduce the urban heat, give shade, provide a habitat for wildlife, and increase the natural beauty. However, not all trees are healthy and safe. Identifying a dangerous tree is essential to prevent potential hazards such as falling branches or entire trees. Here are some of the key indicators that can help you spot a dangerous tree.
Leaning or Tilting
One of the most obvious signs of a potentially hazardous tree is a significant lean or tilt. If you notice a tree that is leaning more than usual or appears to be leaning towards a structure, road, or pedestrian pathway, it may indicate a weakened root system or structural issues. Leaning trees are more susceptible to uprooting during storms or high winds.
Cracks and Cavities
Inspect the trunk of the tree for any visible cracks, cavities, or splits. These can be indicators of internal decay or structural weakness. Cracks and cavities can compromise the tree’s integrity, making it more susceptible to breakage or collapse. Pay close attention to areas where large branches meet the trunk, as these junctions are often vulnerable.
Dead or Hanging Branches
Dead or hanging branches pose are a risk, as they can break off and fall at any time. If you observe branches without leaves or with a noticeable lack of bark, they may be dead or dying. Additionally, branches that hang loosely or appear to be hanging by a thread should be promptly removed to prevent accidents.
Fungi growing on the trunk or around the base of the tree can be a sign of internal decay. Mushrooms or other fungal structures are clear signs of a compromised tree. Fungi can weaken the wood and contribute to the tree’s instability. Regularly check for these signs, especially after wet weather, as moisture accelerates fungal growth.
While roots are not always visible, there are signs that can indicate root issues. If the ground around the tree is lifting or cracking, it may suggest a compromised root system. Additionally, the presence of fungal growth at the base of the tree can be a sign of root decay. Trees with weakened roots are more likely to topple, especially during severe weather conditions.
Certain insects, such as wood-boring beetles, can compromise the structural integrity of a tree by feeding on its wood. Look for exit holes, sawdust-like material around the base, and signs of insect activity. A weakened tree due to insect infestation is more susceptible to breakage and may need professional attention.
Changes in Bark
Peeling, cracking, or unusual bulges in the tree bark can indicate internal problems. The bark serves as a protective layer for the tree, and any changes in its appearance may suggest underlying issues. Regularly inspect the bark for abnormalities and seek professional advice if you notice any concerning changes.
Regular tree inspections are essential for ensuring the safety of your property and the people around you. Tree work is dangerous. If you notice any of the mentioned indicators, it’s crucial to consult with a certified arborist like TreeWorks who can assess the situation and recommend appropriate actions, which may include pruning, cabling, or, in extreme cases, tree removal. Call us on 1800873343