Common Signs Your Tree May Be About to Fall — and How You Can Prevent It
December 14, 2020
More often than not, a falling tree is a surprise. After all, most of us consider trees to be so sturdy and stable that only a catastrophic event could completely uproot them or damage them. However, trees are susceptible to several factors that could cause them to get damaged and topple over.
What Causes a Tree to Fall Over?
There are many reasons a tree could fall over, including improper planting conditions, infestation, lightning, poor soil conditions, flooding, old age, and a host of other culprits. Predicting precisely when a tree will fall is hardly feasible, but we can learn to pick up on the warning signs and do something about them before it’s too late.
What Are the Warning Signs of a Falling Tree?
Several signs can indicate a tree on your property is at risk of falling over:
Trees usually lose leaves in a random pattern. If your tree is losing its leaves from the outside to the inside, something may be wrong with the root zone. Without a healthy root system in place, a tree can fall much more easily.
Leaves need a substantial amount of nutrients, and a distressed tree will attempt to shed outer leaves to conserve energy. If the outermost layer of leaves is completely gone and only a thin inner layer remains, it’s a sign the tree is unhealthy.
Dead or Falling Branches
Spotting some dead branches on a tree doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to fall over, although it can clue you in on the current condition of the tree itself. Trees that have lots of dead branches are a giveaway that something’s afoot. The tree could be trying to make itself smaller — a sort of self-pruning — so there’s not as much to feed.
Not only is the tree running the risk of falling further down the road, but heavier branches could well be on their way to breaking off and causing harm to your loved ones or property.
Deep Cracks or Missing Bark
Parts of the tree where the bark is missing, gashed, or indented are weak spots called “cankers,” similar to a sore. These cankers can increase the likelihood of a tree cracking or breaking in that area in the future.
Rotten tree roots are a sign of a distressed or diseased tree. However, similar to lost leaves, it can be challenging to find rotten roots as most of them lie underground. If you notice mushrooms springing up around the roots, base, or trunk, that may signify that rot is somewhere nearby. Roots that are discolored or have brown or black spots on them are also indicators of root rot.
Leaning Trunk Due to Weather Damage
Few trees grow perfectly vertical — most will naturally lean to one side. To that extent, it can be challenging to determine the cause of a leaning tree. But if you notice it’s favoring one side to a conspicuous slant, it could be due to weather damage. This could include high winds, lightning strikes to the trunks, issues with the root system, or water-logged soil that causes the tree to lean. If it leans more than 15 degrees due to wind or root damage, it most likely needs removal.
Prevent Falling Trees With All The Above Tree Service
If you notice any symptoms that your tree may fall, it’s crucial to get a professional to come take a look! Our tree experts will be able to determine what actions should be taken to prevent bodily harm, property damage, or costly cleanup.