Trees are such a wonderful addition to your backyard. They aid in giving you fresh air, provide you with shade during the summer, and even bloom flowers for you during the spring. However, there are times that when a tree needs to be cut down and removed from your yard. If you have a dangerous tree planted in your yard, winds from a hurricane or thunderstorm could make it fall down and topple into your home. If a tree is near a powerline, it may topple over and would lead to electrocution. Strong winds may also cause the branches to fly off the tree and cause injuries to people nearby. Gladly, there are signs that you can watch out for if you need to remove a dangerous tree.
How Can You Know If A Tree In Your Yard Is Dangerous?
A harmful tree is a hazard to you, your family, people near your home, and your property. This is why it’s crucial for you to immediately spot one in your area and have it dealt with. Here are the signs that you should watch out for and the things that you can do to deal with it.
1. You should look for cankers
Cankers is that term used for a tree’s dead areas of bark on its branches or trunks. If your tree has cankers, it would be vulnerable to decay and wood-rotting organisms. The decay and organisms would, later on, compromise your tree’s structure, making it weak and easy to break.
The Different Kinds Of Cankers:
- Diffuse cankers: When a fast-growing fungi attack your tree, it won’t be able to combat it. Thus, when you see a sign of infected branches, you should immediately remove them.
- Target-shaped cankers: This type of cankers would form a circular area that would look like a target. This is because the gradual growth of the fungi leads to tissues forming around your tree’s affected area.
- Wound cankers: If you repeatedly damage your tree through your landscaping equipment such as your lawn mower, the tendency is a permanent wound would grow on your tree. The wound would be an easy target for fungi, which then, later on, can weaken your tree.
How To Remedy Cankers:
The prevention and treatment available for cankers vary on the kind of tree that needs to be worked on. However, if you keep your tree healthy, such as providing it with adequate water, sunlight, and fertilizer, you can ensure that it can fight off cankers.
2. You should look for tree borers
Insects that live inside your tree are called tree borers. They can weaken your tree since their larvae eat off the living tissues of your plant. Insects such as beetles and clearwing moths are small, but they can do significant damage to your tree. Your plant may look healthy and thrive on the outside, but it’s actually slowly eaten by these miscreants. In the long run, the structure of the plant is crippled, thus causing it to break.
You Can Look Out For:
- Girdles on your tree: When your plant’s bark peels off for no reason, then it’s a sign of infestation. The bark gives your tree protection from the elements and helps spread the nutrients it needs. If it’s removed, it can result in your tree’s slow death.
- Tiny holes: If your tree’s trunks are perforated with tiny holes, then it’s probably infested. You should look out for oblong or symmetrical holes.
- Frass: If your plant has sawdust like substances falling off it, then it’s infested. Frass is the substance that borers produce when they bore into the tree.
How To Remedy Tree Borers:
If there are only a few holes in your tree, then it’s still savable. You can protect it by spreading mulch around it and continually sprinkling it with fertilizer and water.
If there are girdles, you can use twigs to cover it up and help mimic the bark. The twigs can help bridge the gap and enable the nutrients to pass through it.
3. You should watch out for multiple trunks
Some trees are shaped with two or more trunks. If the connection between this trunks is weak, it can easily cause breakage. Multiple trunks sometimes crack, making it a dangerous tree. It may also create layers of barks, which can easily break compared to healthy wood.
Warning Signs That You Need To See:
- Deep cracks in your tree trunks: If your plant has a deep crack, the chances of it breaking are high. The deeper the crack, the harder will it be for the plant to support its whole weight.
- Has a “V” shape instead of a “U” shape: If the trunks point of connection is “U” shaped, it means that the union between the trunks are strong. However, if the connection is “V” shaped, it means that the union is weak. The “V” shape makes it vulnerable since it’s easy to split down and the roots are rubbing into each other.
How To Remedy Multiple Trunks:
You can improve the health of your tree with multiple trunks by pruning it regularly. You can also put bracing rods around to help the plant support its weight.
4. You should watch out for splits and cracks on the tree
Trees get cracked for a couple of reasons, and the majority of which is the cold temperature. When winter comes, frost covers your tree, thus forcing your tree to shrink itself a little to conserve warmth. However, when the warmer season comes, your tree would then expand; therefore cracks would occur. These cracks are often known as frost cracks.
Different Types Of Cracks:
- Cracks in your leaning tree: If your tree has cracks on its side, especially if it’s a leaning tree, then you should contact a professional arborist immediately. If the crack is on your leaning plant’s opposite side, then the tree must be quickly taken down.
- Splits on the ground where the tree is planted: If your tree has cracks and the ground where it’s standing on also has cracks, then it’s a sign that your tree needs a professional to work on it.
- Vertical cracks: If your tree has a small crack after winter, then it’s probably okay. However, if there is more than one crack, and the breaks occur on opposite sides, this means that the roots have already been damaged.
How To Remedy Splits And Cracks
If the damage to your plant is still small, you can salvage it by removing its loose bark. If the damage is a little bit bigger, a certified arborist can bolt the split using the lip bolting method. However, if the splitting is extensive, then the plant should be immediately removed.
5. You should look out for deadwood
When you say deadwood, you’re referring to the wood that’s usually brittle and soft. It’s wood that will not bend when a strong wind blows onto it or when it’s under the weight of snow. It’s dangerous since it can break anytime, which makes it a ticking time bomb.
Signs Of A Deadwood:
- Fungi: If your tree has mushrooms, shelf fungus, or wood conchs growing on it or its surrounding area, it’s a sign that your plant is dying or is already dead. Thus, a fungus is a sure sign that your tree is dangerous.
- Falling barks: Your tree would shed its old barks and replace them with new ones. However, if your plant sheds the barks and a replacement would not replace it, it’s a sign of your tree’s death. You can usually see this happen when there are patches of smooth and exposed wood.
- Discrepancy on the tree’s foliage: Your tree might be dead if there are branches without leaves while there are other with green leaves. The green leaves are clinging to life when they actually should have fallen. However, you should be wary since there are types of trees that hold onto their leaves until late of fall.
How To Remedy Deadwood:
Deadwood is highly hazardous; thus, when this happens, your tree should be immediately removed. It may fall over and poses a danger to you and your property.
What Are The Possible Hazards Of A Dangerous Tree?
Injuries to you and the people around you
If a branch breaks off and falls on somebody, it can result in an injury to your limbs. You can also experience cuts and even bruises. Also, if someone else gets injured by a fallen branch or tree, you will have to pay for his/her medical bills and even his/her pain and suffering.
Damage to your power and utility lines
If a branch or the whole tree falls on a power line, it may result in power outages. It may also result in utility outages, thus putting you and everyone around you in more danger.
Damage to your and other people’s property
If a tree falls onto your house or other’s property, it may result in catastrophic damage. You may end up paying for medical costs and repairs.
An Arborist to the Rescue
If you see any signs of damage on your tree in your yard, it’s best that you get in touch with an expert to professionally deal with it. Don’t wait for a branch to fall off, injure people, and damage properties. A professional arborist can help you save your tree or cut it down. If you need help dealing with a hazardous tree, you can get in touch with us here at Bellarine Trees, and we’ll be glad to assist you.
Daniel has worked in the management, cutting, and caring of trees for the last 20 years. He works and helps run Bellarine Trees and is passionate about the environment and tree worker safety. He has a wife and two daughters and he enjoys playing tennis in his spare time.