Mature and healthy trees add a touch of elegance and charm to a garden. When trees are in full blossom and boast plush foliage, they bring a natural and vibrant harmony to your property. However, the older a tree gets, the more susceptible it is to disease and decay. In a brittle condition, trees pose a threat to your property or your neighbours. In high winds, trees can be unsafe. It’s important to recognise when a tree poses a potential danger. If your tree is displaying any of the signs below, the best thing to do is call a tree surgeon.
Damaged Or Dead Branches
One of the most obvious signs that a tree is unsafe is the branches. If they are broken or hanging, call an arborist. A professional will safely remove the branch and offer professional advice as to whether the tree is a potential danger. Dead branches are easier to detect in the summer when the tree should be sporting foliage. If the leaves are brown and withered, or there are no leaves at all, it’s because they are not receiving nutrients from the branch. Dead branches eventually lose their bark and become weak and brittle. You need to remove dead branches at the earliest convenience because they can be unsafe in a storm and, if diseased, could spread to other parts of the tree.
When a tree is diseased or rotting, it will usually display fungal growth on the trunk or roots. A fungus is a sure sign that the structure of the tree is weakening because the bacteria feeds on the breakdown of biological matter and spreads to other parts of the tree. If the fungal growth is not curable, the tree should be felled. Never attempt to fell a tree on your own. Always consult a professional tree surgeon for your safety and the safety of others.
Although trees typically lean in high winds, they will ordinarily return to their natural position once the storm passes. However, trees that are not offered any protection from hills or nearby buildings take the full force of storms and, over time, start to lean. It’s only a matter of time before strong winds will take a leaning tree down completely, so if your tree lacks protection from the elements and is starting to lean, don’t leave it too late.
Cavities or Cracks
To a trained eye, the trunk is often a good indicator of the health of a tree. Cavities and deep cracks in the tree’s trunk is usually a sign of debilitation. Other conditions will include unstable soil and rot or damage in the trunk. However, some trees will naturally develop cracks in the trunk at various times of the season which are nothing to worry about. Even still, splits in the trunk should not be ignored as it could be that the structural integrity of the tree is susceptible to a fungus which will weaken the tree and eat away the wood.
Some tree species grow more leaves on the top branches than the bottom which can significantly create an imbalance in the tree. Other causes of top-heavy foliage are trees that have grown close together in a cluster in order to compete for light. If your tree has a gorgeous canopy of thick foliage on the top branches, but the lower branches are thin, there could be a safety issue which is easily resolved with strategic pruning that encourages even growth in the future. If there are any trees on your property or close-by that are showing signs of being unsafe, contact a tree surgeon or local authority to provide a solution. Even if you’re not sure whether a tree needs any attention, getting the advice of an expert gives you peace of mind.