7 Signs your Tree May Be Unsafe and Require an Arborist

Trees are a beautiful addition to your property, but they can be unsafe and pose great risks if they are damaged. If you don’t know much about trees, it can be hard to determine whether your tree is damaged or if it’s just going through the different seasons. While an arborist will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong with your tree, there are still many things you can look out for that might indicate that you have an unhealthy tree. Broken or dead branches, cracks or holes in the trunk, problems with the roots, losing leaves out of season, or the tree suddenly leaning are all important signs to look out for.

1. Broken or Hanging Branches

One of the first signs your tree is unsafe and in need of help is broken or hanging branches. Depending on the size of the tree, this can cause serious safety risks to both yourself and your property if the branch were to fall near your home.

Not only is it a safety risk to your property, but it’s also bad for the tree. Damaged branches could result in insect infestations which, overtime, will cause even more damage to the tree and end up costing more money. If you notice a broken or hanging branch, it would be best to contact an arborist to take a look. Arborists know what to look for and will determine the best action plan for you.

2. Trunk has a Hole in it

Another very important thing to look out for is holes in the trunk of your trees. Left untreated, the holes can build up moisture inside, and the tree will internally decay, which will ruin the structure of the tree. Like hanging or damaged branches, a structurally unsound tree will pose great risks to your property, especially during bad weather that might cause the tree to fall. If you notice any holes in the trunk, it’s likely that your tree is a safety risk. Contact an arborist right away!

3. Trunk has Cracks in it

While holes in the trunk are bad, cracks are definitely no better. Some cracks are superficial and nothing to worry about. However, you don’t want to assume all cracks are harmless. If you see any deep cracks, it would be best to contact an arborist. Deep cracks can leave the tree weak and unstable and may be caused by rot or decay inside the tree. This sign might be a little harder to look out for because not all cracks are a safety risk, but it’s still okay to get an arborist to look at it to ease your mind.

4. Root Issues

The roots of the tree are what hold everything together. They’re extremely important to keep a tree nice and healthy, so it’s vital that you look for any signs that the roots may not be doing too well.

The first thing to look at is the base of the tree. If you notice any areas that seem darker than most or any funky mushrooms growing around it, you should definitely contact an arborist. These signs indicate that the roots may be rotting. Rotted roots can leave the tree unstable and negatively impact the overall health of the tree. If the problem is severe enough, you might need to consider stump and tree removal. However, if it’s caught early enough, your tree can be saved. So, if you notice anything strange around the base of your tree, it would be best to have an arborist check it out just in case the tree is in danger.

5. Leaf Loss

Trees losing leaves usually just means that the season is changing. However, if your tree is losing leaves out of season, it can be a bad sign. There are many different reasons why your tree could be shedding leaves, including various tree diseases, pests, or problems with the soil. If your tree is diseased, it can be very dangerous. Chances of branches falling, or even the whole tree depending on how bad it is, is much higher. If you notice your tree is losing leaves, you should contact an arborist to determine the exact cause and find a good way to treat it.

6. Dead Branches

Damaged branches will probably be the first thing you notice on your tree because they’re so easy to spot. A dead branch with brown, withering leaves is an eyesore compared to the rest of the tree. If you spot any dead branches either barely hanging on or have already fallen off the tree, then that’s a big indicator that the tree is stressed and trying to become smaller. If there are several dead branches that have fallen off your tree, there is definitely something wrong. You should contact an arborist to come check out your tree.

7. A Leaning Tree

While not all trees are made the same and some lean different ways, a leaning tree isn’t always good. A leaning tree might be hard to spot if you don’t pay that much attention to it. A big warning sign is if a tree begins to lean out of nowhere and continue to drastically lean. This could be because of recent strong winds, but there is most likely an underlying cause to why your tree is leaning. Cracks in the tree’s roots and the soil are signs of an unsteady tree, which is a safety risk if it’s near your property or someone else’s property.

There are several things to look out for regarding your tree’s health. When it comes to your trees, keeping them healthy and thriving is always your number one goal, so determining when one is unsafe and in need of an arborist is very important. Looking out for broken or dead branches, cracks or holes in the trunk, issues with the roots, loss of leaves, and leaning trees will aid you in determining when your tree may be unsafe and require the help of an arborist. If you’re ever doubtful or unsure if the tree is unsafe, contact an arborist anyway. Getting someone to come check out a potentially unsafe tree is better than letting a damaged tree go untreated and become a safety risk.

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