Welcome back to the Elite Tree Experts blog! Now that the holidays are here, you’re probably getting ready to put up Christmas decorations and string lights around the trees in your yard. Because the frigid weather here in Terre Haute can affect your trees, we recommend taking a little extra time to examine your trees for hazards before putting up your lights this month. If there is a hazardous tree in your yard that is either damaged, unhealthy, or dead, winter weather, including wind and heavy, wet snow, could cause branches to break, or even cause the tree to split or fall. A hazardous tree is not only unsafe for the damage it could cause to your home, property, and belongings, but it also poses danger to you, your family, visitors, and pets. Therefore, knowing how to spot signs of a dangerous tree can save you from suffering minor to severe injuries, and having to pay for costly repairs to your home, vehicle, or even your neighbor’s property. You know you can always call our team to come out and examine any questionable trees, which we could take care of immediately with our tree care services to keep you and your loved ones safe. Let’s look at 3 signs that your tree may be in danger of breaking, splitting, or falling.

How to Examine Your Tree

Before putting up your holiday decorations, here are some tips to follow when inspecting your trees for signs of danger:

  • Use a notebook and pen so that you can easily identify the location and species of any questionable trees, and jot down your findings as you examine them. This will save you time in the long run and also the headache of trying to remember which tree had which symptoms.
  • Examine your tree from the top of the crown to the end of the bottom of the trunk and note any unusual characteristics that catch your eye.
  • Inspect every side of the tree from afar and up close, noting anything that looks unhealthy.
  • Note any changes you see in the branches (shape, color, growth patterns, etc.), any existing foliage, bark patterns, and the number and shapes of roots.

Hazardous Signs To Look For

As you begin inspecting your trees, here are three of the most common signs of a troublesome tree to keep an eye out for during your investigation:

Dead or Hanging Branches

Hazardous branches that are either sick, hanging, or on the verge of falling are some of the most obvious signs that your tree is damaged or unhealthy. Large dead or hanging branches should be removed immediately, as they could cause significant injury and property damage. And while smaller branches may seem less dangerous, these can still injure you, your family, and your pets, and should be addressed sooner rather than later.

A Leaning Trunk

Trees grow in all kinds of patterns and shapes, and do not always grow vertically and straight as an arrow. It’s when your tree has a significant lean that you should call us for our expert tree removal services. A tree will begin to tilt for many reasons, but commonly because of damage to the anchor root or poor weight distribution due to damage, poor health, or significant (either immediate or gradual) shifts in the soil.  

Noticeable Cracks

If you notice cracks in your trees, you’ll want to call your local arborist immediately for an inspection and assessment to determine your tree’s structural integrity. Cracks can be caused by severe weather, mechanical damage, or other falling tree branches. If the cracks spread, this could lead to injury or damaged property, so it’s best to address horizontal or vertical cracks right away.  

What To Do About Dangerous Trees

If you notice any of these signs during your tree examination, call our team right away. We will come out to your home or property in Terre Haute to examine any questionable trees, assess them for health and damage, and determine if tree removal, tree trimming, or other tree care methods will be the best way to address the tree’s issue. We provide free quotes for our tree care services and will be more than happy to help ensure your family’s safety with our professional tree care services.