Knowing When To Call An Arborist: Six Signs That Demand Immediate Attention

In most respects, trees are beneficial assets for homeowners; they reduce utility costs, raise the value of your home and provide habitat for wildlife. They even improve your mental and physical health.

But trees can also cause serious problems, particularly when they fail. If one of your trees begins shedding branches, or worse, completely collapses, you may be held financially responsible for the damage it causes. Accordingly, it is wise to have your trees inspected regularly by a certified arborist, who can predict the tree's likelihood of failure.

While it makes good sense to be proactive and have all of your trees inspected, a few signs and symptoms are especially troubling and warrant immediate attention by a knowledgeable professional. While these signs do not necessarily indicate that a tree is destined to fail, they are serious enough that you should not procrastinate. Realize that while arborists can determine the probability of a tree failing, no one – not even an arborist – can predict when a tree will fail, so prompt action is imperative.

Contact an arborist if your trees exhibit any of the following signs or symptoms: 

1. Co-dominant Trunks

Arborists refer to trees with twin trunks as having co-dominant leaders. Co-dominant leaders are usually weakly attached to each other, which can cause them to split at the junction. Sometimes it is possible to provide structural support for trees with co-dominant leaders, thereby alleviating the need to cut it down.

2. Branch Drop

Trees that have shed branches in the past are more likely to shed branches in the future. Many different problems can cause trees to drop their branches, and some of these are treatable if caught early enough.

3. Crown Dieback

Crown dieback refers to the progressive browning and death of the leaves in a tree's canopy. Dieback can indicate a number of different problems, from bacterial infection to poor site conditions.

4. Mushrooms

Mushrooms growing out of a tree's trunk or roots indicate that fungus is growing inside the tree, potentially compromising the structural integrity of the wood. Not all fungi are detrimental to trees, so finding a mushroom does not necessarily require you to remove the tree.

5. Cracks

Cracks demonstrate that the tree is already in the process of failing. Immediate action is required to ensure the tree does not endanger people or property.

6. Large Voids

Cavities are usually associated with decay, and significant tree hollows predispose trees to failure. However, these types of cavities do not necessarily require you to remove the tree. Some trees effectively seal off the decay associated with hollows, and remain relatively healthy and sound. 

To learn more, contact a company like MML Tree Service