Signs Your Landscape Tree Could Be A Major Hazard

Trees are a cherished part of many home landscapes, which means that many homeowners tend to ignore warning signs that a beloved tree is no longer safe. This can be a big mistake, since a dying or damaged tree may drop large branches, or even fall over. Know the warning signs so you can take steps to prevent a disastrous outcome to your home and property.


A major red flag is if a tree begins to lean when it previously grew relatively straight. Poor rooting is the most likely cause. The roots could be withering and dying, perhaps due to a fungal or bacterial disease or the roots may have suffered from damage from pests or ground disturbance. In some cases, a tree rooted too shallowly, perhaps due to cultural or soil conditions, and now it's size is too much for the root system to support. High winds, wet soil, or just the weight of the canopy can lead to leaning and the potential for a fall.

Split Trunks

Trunks can split for a myriad of reasons, but poor form from early pruning mistakes is the most common reason. If one side of the tree is heavier than the other, then the imbalance in the weight can lead to a split trunk. Storms and high winds may cause the trunk to split, particularly if wind brings down a large canopy branch. Insect infestation or heart rot is another reason trunks sometimes split. As the interior of the trunk is destroyed, it weakens and becomes prone to a split. Sometimes, the trunk can be splinted and saved if the heartwood isn't rotted out by insects or disease, otherwise the tree should be removed.

Disease Symptoms

Disease symptoms on the exterior of the tree may indicate irreversible rot to the roots or the heartwood of the tree. The most common symptoms to worry about are those that indicate fungal growth, such as mushrooms sprouting from the base of the tree or from the lower trunk. Oozing from the trunk, unexplained bark loss, and dropping extensive amounts of leaves out of season are also red flags. Depending on the cause of the symptoms, you may be able to reverse the damage.

Increased Deadwood

If you notice a lot of dieback of entire branches in the canopy, you need to have the tree professionally assessed. Sometimes dieback is simply the result of temporary stress, such as drought or a treatable disease or insect problem. Dieback can also be the result of poor pruning habits that have allowed weak branches to remain in the canopy. On the other hand, dieback can also be the result of irreversible disease or insect infestation.

Contact a tree care and removal service such as Jonny's Tree & Landscaping Co., LLC for more help.  

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