Preventing Fallen Trees: Inspections and Maintenance Tips

There’s a reason why we often tell property owners not to trim their own trees: trees can be heavy!

The average mature tree weighs around a ton, with larger trees weighing between three and five tons. If a branch carrying even a small fraction of that weight falls onto you or your property, it can be disastrous.

It’s for the same reasons that preventing fallen trees is so important. Maintaining your tree, identifying signs of decay and damage, and removing dead weight can help ensure your safety. If you’re not sure how to manage the risk, here’s what you should know.

Dangers of Dead Trees

Dead trees are more than an aesthetic nightmare; they also pose a huge risk to your property and those around it.

A falling tree can cause roof or property damage if it falls the wrong way. Depending on the location of the fall and the size of the tree, this catastrophic damage could cost you thousands or even hundreds of thousands in repairs. Worse, things get even more complicated if your tree caused damage to someone else’s property.

If a tree veers toward the street, it can destroy parked cars, block the road, or even send power lines tumbling down. The latter can become a major health hazard for anyone passing by.

In addition, dead trees can cause injuries or death to someone standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially during severe weather. However, this is less common, though the statistics are sparse.

Signs Your Tree Is Weak or Dying

As you work to maintain your tree and minimize the risk of the hazards above, you’ll need to know how to spot the warning signs of a dead or dying tree. Trees with structural concerns or health conditions are much more likely to fall than healthy trees.

Here are a few signs that your tree is weakening or dying:

  • A lack of foliage, especially in the spring and summer months
  • Extensive fungal growth, particularly around the base of the tree
  • Vertical cracks or splits in the bark
  • Peeling bark
  • A sudden tilt or lean
  • An abundance of dead wood
  • Extensive signs of pests living within the tree

If you scratch off a tree’s bark with a knife in multiple areas and see nothing green underneath, your tree may already be dead.

Be sure to contact a tree expert with your concerns: some of these signs are hard to spot, and a professional opinion can confirm whether your tree is healthy.

The Importance of Regular Tree Inspections

Professional tree services are a great way to prevent fallen trees. Though you may be able to spot broken limbs, pests, or decay pockets on your own, an expert will be able to help gauge your tree’s overall health and advise you on its treatment.

Experts can also do something you should never do alone: trim your trees.

Pruning and trimming a mature tree can be dangerous for both you and your property. The same risks associated with falling trees are present when you try a DIY job on your tree’s pruning! That’s why you should leave it to a trained, licensed, and insured professional.

Consider getting tree inspections around once every year or so. It’s best to do this around the start of a tree’s growing season.

Tree Maintenance Tips

Beyond professional inspections and watching for signs of weakness, what can you do on your own to prevent a tree from weakening and falling? Preventative care can help ensure the health of your tree for longer.

Know Your Tree

Every tree species is different, so do your research and get to know what to expect from your tree.

If your coniferous tree sheds its leaves in the middle of winter, for example, it should raise a red flag. If you have a weeping willow, you’ll want to keep a closer eye on how much water it gets.

You should also familiarize yourself with the types of diseases your tree may be exposed to. The emerald ash borer, for example, is a common pest to watch for if you have an ash tree in your yard.

Water With Care

On the note of watering, it’s important to remember that not all trees are created equal. Overwatering can drown your tree’s roots, making it difficult for them to get the oxygen they need. This can cause decay.

A good rule of thumb is to give your tree 10 gallons of water for every inch of its trunk’s diameter. Deeper, less frequent watering can encourage a more developed root system.

Stake Trees When Needed

Newly planted trees often need stakes to help them grow. However, you can also stake slightly older to medium-sized trees to keep them more stable during severe storms.

Add Some Mulch

Mulch can help protect your tree’s root system. A 2-3 inch layer is enough to do the trick; any more than that would trap too much moisture.

Removing Damaged Trees

What happens when your tree is too damaged or decayed to bring back to health? As we’ve stated above, if your tree’s condition puts it in danger of falling, it could put your property or those around it in danger. If you’re concerned that your tree might be too weak to stand, it’s essential to remove it.

Call a 24-hour emergency tree service for immediate tree trimming or removal. This safe, professional service will remove the risk to your property and the people around it.

Avoid Fallen Trees

Damaged and decayed trees can be risky to keep on your property, so it’s important to know the signs of damage, maintenance methods, and what to do if removal is necessary.

When managing risks around your home or commercial property is crucial, Action Tree Service is here to help. Our expert team has the skills and experience to help San Antonio area property owners prevent fallen trees. To learn more about how we can help, call us at 210-656-4003 or contact us online for a free estimate.

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