Have you ever looked at a tree, marvelling at its majesty and strength – and then you’re shocked when a day of heavy wind knocks one over by its roots? Yes, while trees are sturdy and proud, we all know that the evidence of a million falling trees proves that they definitely aren’t invincible – and you really don’t want your family, your house or your car to be anywhere near when it does happen.
While there aren’t as many around as there are trees, there are definitely plenty of highly-trained, knowledgeable and experienced local Arborists around who can spot the signs that a tree may be on its last legs. Remember: trees can’t talk, but they have found some ways to communicate to us when they’re unhealthy and at risk of going south in a hurry.
1. The leaves
You’ve heard about reading tea leaves – now try reading a tree’s leaves. If you notice your tree has dropped an unusually high amount of leaves at an odd time, give one of them a closer inspection as it’s a potential giveaway about an impending tree fall. If the colour isn’t right or it’s unusually shrivelled, it could be a sign that the tree is not properly nourished or has been affected by tree pests.
2. The branches
Are there any excess fallen branches around those fallen leaves? If so, move your eyes upwards and see if the phenomenon is also occurring up there – lots of branches that have broken off and are stuck on other ones. Shedding branches is one way a tree can try to offload some its size to prioritise limited nourishment, while another sign of bad health is if one of those fallen branches is rotten or pest-damaged.
3. A hole
The shedding of leaves and branches is a sort of ‘self-pruning’ by your sick or poorly nourished tree, and sometimes the result of all that shedding can be the appearance of a hole in the trunk. This hole is not just a point of immediate weakness, but it could be the start of serious decay that could eventually lead to collapse. Also watch out for other signs of obvious tree weakness, such as cracks.
4. The bark
When we’re not feeling right, we can appear off-colour. Similarly, when a tree is also struggling for good health, the trunk’s bark can be spotty, missing in patches, or too easy to pull off.
5. A lean
A leaning tree, meanwhile, really is a sign that ‘the only way is up’ probably no longer applies with your tree. If a tree is leaning but otherwise undamaged after a particularly bad day of wind, that’s a sure sign that it’s losing strength – and may soon give up the battle permanently.
Now this one might be counter-intuitive, but stick with us – are there mushrooms and other fungi present at the very base of the tree? While this can be a long-shot, fungi growth can indicate that rotting wood – the tree’s roots – lie beneath the surface. So it might be time to get the professionals to check it out, especially if other signs a tree might fall are also present.
So don’t forget: while a tree may be upright:
- It may not have been planted properly
- It could be infested with pests
- It could be poorly nourished
- The soil condition may be poor
- It may be damaged, old, diseased or dying.
If you’re worried, there’s a very simple thing you should do – call your friendly neighbourhood Arborist! With all the right people, specialised equipment, skills and know-how, JC Tree Services can help you out with fast & affordable tree removal, stump grinding, professional tree pruning – and even a 24-hour emergency service for those situations that simply can’t wait.
If you suspect there’s a problem with your tree, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jez and his experienced team today.