Apr 20, 2017

When people think of dangerous trees in their yard, they normally envision a dead tree full of hollows and decay. While this kind of tree would certainly be hazardous, it’s possible for a perfectly healthy tree to cause injury and structural damage under certain conditions. Dismissing potential safety hazards of healthy trees is never a good idea, doing so could lead to a crushed roof, totaled vehicle or even land a family member in the hospital. After all, healthy doesn’t necessarily equal structurally sound. Which means if a severe storm comes through your neighborhood, you might not be protected. So, how can a worried homeowner recognize a dangerous healthy tree?

The Dangers of Windthrow 

Windthrow is a term used to describe the uprooting or destruction of a tree due to high winds during a storm. It is a common misconception that healthy trees are immune to wind damage. In fact, several factors come into play during extreme weather conditions, and often even the most well maintained trees can succumb to injury. The experts at 404-CUT-TREE have been assessing tree risk for years in Atlanta, Roswell, Marietta, Sandy Springs and other Metro Atlanta neighborhoods. Over time, we’ve learned to recognize the many ways that healthy trees can become vulnerable to windthrow, especially those infected with root rot.

Prior Injuries

Has your tree suffered damage before? Perhaps a lightning bolt has injured the trunk or a pruning accident has left behind a scarred or mutilated limb. Even if the tree survived and continued to become very healthy and robust, a severe enough injury could still leave the tree structurally weakened in vital areas. Many times a healthy tree may have a common issue such as fungal cankers which have left the tree extremely vulnerable to further damage.

Sudden Change of Environment

In today’s rapidly changing landscape, areas that were once heavily forested are being taken over by housing developments and other urban construction projects. Some trees may have once been isolated from strong winds by a thick wall of trees surrounded it. Certain trees may have not been given a chance to adapt and are susceptible to windthrow after losing their protective environment.

Soil Condition

Many varieties of trees have roots that only lie a foot or two beneath the ground. Severe enough weather, such as heavy rainfall, can wash away many layers of soil that keep the roots in place. Homeowners often cultivate roots in ways that are meant to protect their foundations and sewer pipes. If a tree’s roots are too short, or unable to stay secure in the slippery soil, a strong enough wind could pull the tree out of the ground. Soil drainage is an important factor to consider when determining whether your tree can make it through a difficult storm without falling.

Uneven Crown

Nature enjoys variety, and no two tree crowns are ever the same. Sometimes one side of the tree might need to fight for access to sunlight. Occasionally, a crown has been unevenly pruned and trimmed. Poorly pruned long leaders, often found with Oak trees, can break under the pressure of severe winds. There are times when a tree limb has broken from a lightning, storm or construction accident. Either way, if your tree’s crown is uneven, it could cause an imbalance in the weight distribution of the tree. If the trunk is unable to balance the weight during a severe storm, it could lead to an uprooted tree.

Do You Have a Dangerous Tree in Your Yard? Call the Experts at 404-CUT-TREE Today

Do you have a healthy tree that you fear might not be structurally sound? Don’t wait until the next storm to find out. Call the experienced tree care professionals at 404-CUT-TREE. Our team of experienced arborists can conduct a thorough tree risk assessment to determine if your tree is a liability. In many cases, such as an uneven crown or improper soil conditions, the tree might be saved through pruning and soil amendments. Occasionally, a particularly dangerous tree might need to be removed entirely. 404-CUT-TREE provides tree care services for residents and businesses in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Decatur, Sandy Springs and other Metro Atlanta area communities. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.