How can I tell if a tree is going to fall?

Now and again trees can give us some subtle – and not so subtle – warnings when they are becoming dangerous to be around. It is far more common for a tree to show signs of failure before breaking or falling than it is for a tree to simply fall, however, trees do sometimes simply buckle or fall. Still, looking out for the warning signs of tree failure can help you be prepared for an eventual falling tree. Here’s what you should look for:

Hole (or holes) in the trunk

Large cavities in a tree trunk can lead to decay, especially if water can build up inside of the tree. This is not a definitive sign of a failing or dying tree, however. You may want to check and see if there are multiple holes (such as made by birds like woodpeckers). The presence of many holes can indicate that your tree is infested with bugs, and birds are looking to get to them. It may be time for the tree to go.

Rotten Roots & Fungi

If you start seeing mushrooms and other fungi appearing near the bottom of the tree, it is possible that your tree’s roots and bark may be rotting. Healthy trees have living, healthy roots that aren’t often dotted with mushrooms. Once they start breaking down, fungi springs up.

Missing Bark & Deep Cracks

Bark is a tree’s way of protecting itself. Large gashes in the side of a tree can open up areas for bacteria to get inside and infect a tree. Bark can be damaged or torn off from weather damage, animals like beavers and woodpeckers, and more. Large swaths of missing bark can mean your tree needs some help at the least.

Deep cracks, however, may show that your tree is having trouble. Sometimes wood can split, and if they’re split in the trunk or large, load bearing areas, you will want to act fast. Splits and deep cracks mean that the structure of your tree may be weakened. It’s best to have someone come out and look!

Leaning Trunk

If a tree is starting to lean, that means that its roots may be letting go. Whether it’s letting go from soft ground or another reason, a leaning tree, especially if it wasn’t leaning before, that is leaning at 15 or more degrees may pose a threat to you.

Leaves being shed, outside in

There are a lot of things that can be determined regarding tree health by looking at the leaves of a tree. If the tree is shedding its leaves from the outside in, your tree may be sick. If your tree is turning colors earlier than fall, it may be sick. If your tree is not producing leaves, your tree may be dead. A tree with leaf problems may be well on its way to becoming dangerous.

Your best bet for determining a dangerous tree is to call a professional like Boisvert Brothers Tree Services. Reach out to us today!

How can you tell if a tree is going to fall?

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