Although landscape trees are beautiful, in some cases they can pose a deadly danger. Trees that may fall or drop branches are the greatest safety concern. The following can help you spot these deadly problem trees.
Branches that overhang the house can be very dangerous. These branches can scrape against the roof and walls, which can result in scraped off shingles or a broken window. In severe storms or high winds, branches may break off the tree and crash onto the roof. A tree may even blow down and onto the house. Trees should be planted far enough away from the home so that the canopy doesn't brush against the house. Failing this, then pruning may be necessary to keep branches away from the home.
Trees should not be planted beneath power lines. Branches in power lines can pull down lines and cause an electrical or fire hazard. Trimming and caring for the tree is also more dangerous when lines are nearby. If you already have a tree entangled in power lines, schedule a professional removal.
Deadwood and Windowmakers
Even a healthy tree can have large, dead branches hiding in the canopy. If this deadwood falls, it is called a widowmaker since it can be deadly to anyone below. Regular pruning, typically completed in the spring, will remove the deadwood before a dangerous situation occurs. Survey the canopy regularly so you can catch deadwood as soon as it develops.
A tree with weak roots is in danger of falling over, especially during high winds or if the soil is exceedingly wet. One sign of a weak root system is if the tree is leaning. Churned up soil around the roots, particularly after wind, can also indicate that a tree is about to fall. Rot can be a contributing factor to weak roots. If you notice mushrooms growing along the trunk or from the soil around the base of the trunk, have the tree professionally assessed to ensure it is still healthy.
Most medium to large landscape trees should only have one main trunk. A tree with multiple trunks is more likely to split and possibly fall over. Another concern is the canopy. The trunk should have large primary branches equally distributed on all sides of the trunk. If there is a large branch only on one side, the chances of it breaking and splitting the trunk are higher. Proper pruning of young trees will encourage a single trunk habit and well balanced lateral branching.
Contact a tree trimming service for more help.