By John Stonaker, Feb 11 2019 04:00PM
Predicting when a large limb might fall from a tree is not always easy. In the summer, if you see a branch with no leaves on it, it’s easy to guess that it’s dead and needs to be removed. But it’s more difficult to tell dead branches in the winter. Moreover, branches that fall are not always dead.
Unexpected falling limbs are certainly a hazard for any home, but on commercial property, they can be extremely dangerous and a serious liability.
Trained professionals are able to recognize certain signs that increase the risk of limb drop. Some of those signs include:
The tree’s shape – When two large limbs branch off from a Y, their union may be weak, threatening the stability of the branch(es).
Poor previous pruning job – Amateurs or inexperienced tree services can cause serious damage to a tree. A poor shape could create stress to branches. Cutting incorrectly or with the wrong tools can leave splits or gashes that allow disease or moisture to enter the tree and weaken it.
Strong winds – Trees that have not been cared for often fall or drop limbs in powerful storms. But even if damaged limbs remain on the tree and leaf out, fractures from the storm can eventually cause the branches to fall from stress or disease.
Internal rot – Rot is often signaled by mushrooms growing on the branches or trunk.
“Sudden branch drop” – On hot, still days in the summer, seemingly healthy branches may unexpectedly fall. This is believed to be the tree’s response to stress from heat or humidity. The branches that drop are usually large, horizontal, and stick out farther than the rest of the canopy.
How to Protect Your Trees and Your Property
The best defense is a strong offense, as the saying goes. Providing your trees with routine care from a professional, trained, and highly qualified tree service will ensure that your trees will be watched over with a careful eye and corrections will be taken before serious problems develop. If you don’t have a regular tree service yet, the late winter and early spring is the perfect time to have one out to prune your trees while they are still dormant.
Commercial properties in particular should be ensuring that their trees are strong and safe at this time of year. As warmer months approach, more people will be outside and exposed to your trees. And with warm weather often comes strong storms, which can cause great damage to trees that have not been properly cared for.
Tree care is a year-round project to ensure trees stay healthy, strong, and beautiful. Call us to take a look at your trees to assess and correct potential problems.