Trees are wonderful. The right trees can do wonders to your yard, landscaping, and “curb appeal”. But let’s face it, trees can be down right dangerous. High wind storms can blow over healthy trees and will most likely blow over unhealthy and or leaning trees. It is extremely important that homeowners are aware of the threats that leaning trees present to their home and property.
Leaning Trees and Risky Root Systems
Homeowners should have an idea of what to look for when assessing their yard for problem trees with a lean. Below is a list of some basic guidelines and principles to go by if you are worried about any leaning trees you may have in your yard.
By far the most dangerous kind of leaning tree is an uprooted tree. Some uprooted trees are easy to spot because they have dramatic leans and the root system is visible. Other up rooted trees are more difficult to detect. ANY uprooted tree is extremely dangerous and should be removed ASAP. In this scenario you need emergency tree help.
Next time you are outside in your yard look carefully at the base trunk of your trees, more specifically, the ground surrounding the base trunk. If there is any uneven mounding (however slight) or cracks in the ground surface then you may likely have a disaster waiting to happen.
A common homeowner mistake is to let uprooted trees leaning away from the house, and with no other target, stand as they are. They figure that they may as well just let fall and save the money, though the logic seems to make sense this is a huge mistake. The uprooted tree will blow over in the direction the wind is blowing. So if there is a strong wind in the wrong direction you may end up with a much more expensive tree problem.
Many perfectly healthy and sturdy trees have a lean to them. This does not mean it automatically should come down. If a healthy leaning tree stands at 70 degrees or less (90 degrees being straight up) then you will want to have that tree removed, especially if it has a target. If the tree is unhealthy and has a lean then it needs to come down with even a slight lean.
If you have a healthy tree with only a slight lean but you are still worried about the risk of it coming down then reducing the sail through tree pruning maybe be a good alternative to a full tree removal.
Leaning Trees with Cracks
Look for horizontal cracks on the upward side and buckling bark or wood on the downward or ground side. Some times these can be hard to spot if you are not looking for them.
Also be on the look out for any leaning trees with vertical crack through the stem.
Leaning Trees with Cankers and Decay
Any leaning tree with a canker or decay needs to be removed. Even if such a tree is not leaning it will be at great risk of coming down in the next strong wind storm.
If you have any trees with roots growing around 40% or more of the base trunk then you have girdling roots and a serious tree problem.
Get Professional and Knowledgable Tree Help
If you suspect that you may have some issues with leaning trees in your yard then please give us a call. We have the knowledge and experience to identify the risk of each tree in your yard. It’s much better to have a professional arborist over to look at a leaning tree than a tree on your home. We will be happy to do a tree by tree evaluation at no cost to you. Simply give us a call @ 757 206 9073 to set up your free consultation.