Trees are one of the first garden features to be affected in a major storm event, and after the storm has passed it’s an arborist’s job to safely clean up the mess. They clear away any branches or limbs that fall onto the road or on top of houses, cars and power lines. They also remove any trees irreversibly damaged by the storm.
Often it is unhealthy or poorly maintained trees that cause the most damage during a storm, however keeping trees healthy is difficult, and not everyone has the skills to take care of them properly.
When it comes to removing trees, an arborist will only take action if the tree is dying or dead, if it causes an obstruction or hazard that can’t be fixed by pruning or if it rests in a spot that will undergo construction. At Independent Tree Services, we have the knowledge and experience to identify whether a tree is healthy and strong. We can also tell if factors such as wind, rain and extreme heat and cold will affect the health of a tree. This is especially important coming into storm season when we can expect all of these conditions and more.
Here are some key symptoms that you can recognise to indicate if your tree is not healthy
Dead wood looks dry and lifeless and breaks very easily. Because it’s brittle and can’t bend in the wind like a healthy branch, it’s likely to break. For this reason, dead branches need to be removed immediately.
Cracks and Cankers
Cracks are deep splits through the bark, and they usually indicate that a tree is dying. Cankers are holes where the bark is missing; they increase the chance of a stem breaking.
Weak branch unions
Weak branch unions are areas where branches aren’t securely attached to the tree. This happens when two branches grow closely together and bark grows between them. The bark isn’t as strong as wood, and it weakens the union of the branches.
Trees usually decay from the inside out, so it can be tough to notice initially. Fungi, like mushrooms, are good indicators, as is soft or crumbly wood.
Poor tree architecture
Poor tree architecture means an uneven growth pattern, indicated by lopsided or leans in a particular direction. This is usually caused by years of damage from storms or improper pruning.
You can also ask yourself these three questions:
What is the history of the tree?
Often trees that have undergone pruning can start to go south, especially if they have been cut back too far or the old, outdated, practice of “topping” has been attempted, which has been known to prevent regrowth.
What is the environment in which the tree lives?
The removal of nearby trees is a common problem after new construction. Unfortunately, trees that are spared from removal during construction often die 3-5 years later. They succumb to soil compaction, grade changes and the sudden exposure to full sun after being grown in a forest.
How much space is available for tree growth?
When it comes to your house, it is best not to have trees actually hanging over the roof. Generally large trees should be at least six metres from your house. On the other hand small trees may be planted as close as two metres from the house.
Our arborists will be able to diagnose a disease and offer you a course of action.
You should never try to remove a tree yourself. It’s a big job that requires expert precision to avoid extensive damage to property and people.