5 Warning Signs of a Dangerous Tree

The professional arborist among us can spot dangerous trees a mile away. But as tree owners ourselves, we don’t always have the benefit of professional training in order to detect a very sick tree–some of the time the first clue that something is wrong is when it falls on your car or house. So, here’s a very basic rundown of some warning signs of a tree at risk for very serious problems and some simple things to look out for.

Holes in the tree

Holes in the tree are dangerous. They’re caused by a number of different beetles, cankers and fungi as well as natural phenomena like lightning. The most common tree diseases are caused by fungi. Holes made by these types of organisms are usually the result of decay which makes identifying them fairly easy. Harmful tree insects, such as beetles, borers and moths, feed on the trees and cause cavities by chewing on the leaves and wood. They can also burrow under tree bark to lay their eggs so they can repopulate in the spring. In extreme cases, an infestation can be fatal to a tree.

Dead Branches

Dead tree branches are a hazard to you, your kids, pets and the inside of your home. They can cause serious damage to the house or car if they fall on it while they break off from the main tree.

Cutting a dead tree branch near your house is not recommended as sometimes the branch might fall on the wrong direction and injure a family member or damage your property.

Evidence of Rot or Decay

Tree rot is actually a process that happens to wood. Rot starts deep inside the heartwood, deep inside the center of the tree, and spreads outward from there. Trees with Rot can look fine to the eye, they may even still be standing, but underneath, they are rotting.

Rot can be damaging to the long-term health of your tree, so if you see it taking hold you need to take action to stop it.

Starts to Lean

You might be surprised to learn that falling trees are responsible for more deaths than tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning and earthquakes combined. When a tree leans, it can be unstable and more susceptible to fall over under any weather conditions.

Droopy leaves & wilting

A wilting tree is dangerous. It could be rotting inside, dead from the core. But dying trees can also cause harm to the ones around them. Because of the decaying leaves and branches, it can be an eyesore to your neighbors. The increasing likelihood of falling limbs from a decaying tree makes it a danger to the residents nearby. It may fall at any moment. Once a tree starts to wilt, it’s usually just a matter of time before it falls.