Identifying Hazardous Trees

Our goal at Miller’s Tree Service is to make sure the trees around you are healthy, and to remove any potential dangerous trees that pose a threat to you and your property. Trees with structural defects that are at risk of falling and causing damage are called “high risk” or “hazardous” trees. While we can help you with removing a fallen tree, we’d much rather help before any damage is done. While some signs can only be evaluated by a professional arborist, here are a few ways you can identify if it’s time to call Miller’s Tree Service about removing a hazardous tree:

Dead as a Doornail
Generally you can tell if a tree isn’t doing so well. Dead twigs, dead branches, and small, off-color leaves is a good indicator that a tree is not healthy. Dead wood is brittle and will not bend in the wind. Even if the tree does not pose an immediate threat, think of the branches high above. What damage could they cause if they were to fall? If the wind were to blow a little too hard the tree may stand strong, but a large branch can also cause serious damage.

Cracked Up
A crack in a tree is one of the most clear signs that it’s failing. This is especially true if there are more than one crack close to each other. The deeper the crack extends into the tree, the more dangerous the defect is. A crack shouldn’t be ignored and immediate professional evaluation should be done.

Crumbling Down
The other side of a brittle branch is a soft cavity. Think of it like this: sometimes sticks snap in your hands, and sometimes they fall apart like saw dust. This crumbling effect can be seen in trees and cavities will form, greatly reducing its structural integrity. Growth of of fungus on the tree like mushrooms are a clear sign of decay.

Poor Form
The last layman’s sign of a hazardous tree is a pretty simple: does it look like it’s going to fall over? In other words, trees are meant to stand upright, with even branches and little to no lean. The obtuse it’s leans and bends are, the less structural integrity it has.

While these are good indicators, it’s possible a tree looks healthy from the outside, but has serious problems within. Some species hide their condition better than others. Only the experts at Miller’s Tree Service can tell you if the trees around your home are healthy. If you’re not sure, set up an appointment to have one of our arborists provide an evaluation.