Do you know if one of those stunning trees in your yard is ready to fall when the next storm blows through? Unfortunately, this is a very real threat as falling trees or limbs can injure you, your children or your home. While tree removal is a last resort, it's still a good idea to regularly inspect the trees on your yard for hazards and know how to recognize a tree that needs to be removed. Once you understand these signs, you'll know when it's time to call a tree company.
Annual Tree Inspections are Important
At least once per year, inspect all of your trees for signs of disease, decay or structural problems. You'll also need to check the trees after each severe storm, as large trees can easily fall if their anchor roots are damaged or the ground becomes too soaked. If you catch the problem in time, a tree service company can remove it before serious damage occurs.
How to Inspect Your Trees
So, how should you inspect your trees for problems? Start by looking at the overall condition of the tree. Trees that are sick usually have off-color leaves or red pine needles. If the tree has green on the crown, it may still be hazardous or sick as the branches or trunk can be structurally weak due to disease or rot. Use binoculars to look at the high branches and try to spot any broken limbs or weak branch unions, which means the limbs are ready to fall at any time.
6 High-Risk Issues to Look For
Now, let's move on to identifying some of the biggest problems you need to look for. All of these problems represent a major safety hazard and may indicate it's time for a tree remova specialist to pay a visit.
Cracked bark. If your tree has bark that's starting to crack, this is a sign that the tree is sick or dying. Call a tree service company if you notice 2+ cracks in the same spot or very deep cracking.
Weak branch unions. Check how well the branches appear to be attached to the tree, as weak unions have no integrity and the branches may come falling down. This is a common issue with elm and maple.
Tree cankers. These sunken spots in the bark or areas where the bark is completely missing may either be a wound or a sign of disease.
Strange shape. Does your tree have a weird shape that seems poorly formed? These trees may require removal because they lack structural integrity.
Decay. Serious decay is a problem and you can usually spot it if there are mushrooms growing on your tree or right at the base. Dead branches. Dead wood is unpredictable and very brittle. Strong winds or a storm can easily send these branches crashing down onto your family or your home. Tree trimming is necessary to remove these hazards.
Common Tree Issues There are a number of tree diseases that are common throughout most tree species. Here's a look at some of them, along with symptoms you should look for. Most of these diseases require removal. Tree removal sometimes requires a permit so make sure you have this in order before you have the tree felled.
Oak Leaf Blister. This disease affects oak trees, causing the leaves to look blistered on the upper surface with depressions on the underside. The leaves will eventually start to curl and leaves may drop prematurely. This disease typically starts in the spring and spores are then spread in the rain or wind. This disease is treated with a fungicide.
Tubakia Leaf Spot. This disease causes brown spots to appear on the foliage, along with cankers on the twigs. Red oaks are particularly prone to catching this fungal infection and the best way to address it is to increase air flow on the tree.
Bacterial Leaf Scorch. This disease leaves red or yellow borders and makes leaves appear scorched. It's spread by insects and close contact to other trees and infected trees usually require removal.
Armillaria Root Rot. Finally, this fungi infects the roots of the tree and may be hard to detect unless you see mushrooms growing on the tree's base. It causes the crown to die, stunts the tree's growth and eventually kills the tree, requiring removal.
Remember, inspecting your trees annually is an important task for you to do. If your tree loses its leaves right before it gets them and right after it loses them are great times to inspect. Even if they don't lose their leaves those two times are usually in the beginning of Spring and the end of Fall.
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