An older tree makes up about 15% of your assessed property value. With that much on the line, you sure don’t want a tree falling. Here’s how to tell if your tree is too dangerous to keep and what you can do about it.
How to Inspect Your Trees
No one understands your trees better than you. So, after they grow leaves in the spring and the leaves fall off in the fall, walk around and inspect your tree from top to bottom, taking notes of any changes in branches, bark, roots, and leaves.
Examine the tree’s sides from and distance and up close. Look for peeling or cuts in the bark. With binoculars, examine the crown for brown leaves and dead wood.
Trees that Lean
Trees typically don’t grow straight, so leaning is normal. But if your tree starts resembling the Tower of Pisa due to anchor root damage or poor weight distribution, it probably unstable. You should call an arborist.
U-shaped or V-shaped multiple trunks are weak spots for older trees. The area on the wood where the trunks unite could lose strength and split when a storm takes place. Or, it could do the split and lose strength due to old age. Look for cracks that go through or into the trunk.
An arborist can steady split trunks by linking cables between branches and trunks high in the tree. Cables won’t fix existing damage, but they will improve the safety, particularly in high winds and extend your tree’s life.
Sometimes a treasured tree uproots without warning. But usually, your tree gives you a heads-up before it topples. You can always contact a company that specializes in tree service in Rochester to assess your tree for you. They have the tools and equipment to inspect your tree from top to bottom.
Significant property damage, deaths, and serious injuries can happen when bad storms topple trees.
The usual reasons for trees coming down during high winds are a damaged root system and soggy soil. Besides a couple of broken limbs, healthy trees can withstand short periods of heavy rain and high winds. In cases where the soil is drenched, tree roots can’t grip the soil, and the whole tree falls. This is when you will have to call for tree removal service.
In some instances, healthy trees may become too heavy during a storm or shortly afterward. When this happens, sap is drawn into the canopy. For a tree to endure high winds, the roots must be healthy.
Roots and tree limbs could grow a particular way to put up with prevailing winds. If a storm hits these trees with winds from another direction, a few trees might topple. Root health is affected by lousy planting, root damage, and infrastructure crowding. This can also negatively impact the tree’s strength.
Trees planted in well-drained soil and at the right depth do much better in strong winds than when planted in an area with frequent wet soil or places where sidewalks, driveways, and roads restrict the roots.
Accurate pruning is vital to avoid damage
Trees that have been trimmed to not be on the roof or utility lines could become unhinged. Older trees’ branches need professional maintenance. It is critical to keep the canopy balanced with healthy, strong limbs and trunk.
The top causes of large tree limbs falling during high winds are disease, incorrect pruning, and the tree type. You can do more harm to a tree over time by pruning the wrong branches. For most big shade trees, a single main trunk is best. The most robust tree branches are the ones that sprout from the main trunk and aren’t crowded.
Diseased or dead limbs must be correctly trimmed. If a big sick or dead limb has to be taken out on one side, another limb might have to be removed on the other side. A certified arborist has the skills to help keep your tree healthy in the short term and a long time afterward.
We typically get asked about a tree too close to a house. The consensus is that it makes cracks in the foundation and that the tree’s roots will penetrate the concrete, expanding and causing it to crack. Frankly, this would be of concern to any Rochester homeowner. But, is this the truth?
The answer: no and here’s why.
It’s imperative to know that tree roots are always looking for moisture in the soil. They will thrive towards moisture but completely stop growing if the soil is dry. The soil right next to a foundation is typically very dry, even drier if there is a roof overhead since no rain can get to it. Not to mention, a foundation produces heat, even in summer, drying out the nearby soil.
The result is that, when a tree begins to grow near a foundation, whether it sprouted there or was planted, the bulk of its roots will germinate away from the foundation, toward the nearby moist soil. Roots have no attraction for concrete which is alkaline and dry. Therefore, roots don’t enter the cracks in a foundation. They don’t create any as well.
Other Tree Effects
Under natural circumstances, a tree situated near home doesn’t hurt the foundation. However, there are other things to consider when a tree is growing near a residence.
The tree’s branches can rub against the roof or wall, particularly on a day in which there are strong winds. This isn’t good for your home or your tree. You should prune or remove the limbs that are causing a problem and detracting from the tree’s healthy appearance.
A tree developing next to the foundation can exceed the height of the home, and its branches will probably spread over the roof. This by itself isn’t dangerous. It will keep the house cool in the summertime. Moreover, a shaded roof lasts longer than one always open to the sun.
However, needles, leaves, and little branches from an overhanging tree tend to fall on the roof and can clog the gutters. It’s smart to clean your gutters in late fall, regardless if you have an overhanging tree or not. A Rochester tree service company can perform the work for you since gutter cleaning can be a hazardous task.
Are you fed up with pesky critters destroying your trees, eating away at the leaves until it ends up looking like it has been devastated by a storm? Really, how do you move your mind past the fact that you’ve put a lot of time, money, and effort into having beautiful and energetic looking trees only to be ruined by an insect infestation?
What must you do to stop this from happening to your trees? Is there a way to handle insect infestation in trees?
The best and most reasonable solution is to be proactive. Prevention is the solution to controlling these bugs. And the way to do that is to learn which bugs are really bad for trees and realizing how to eliminate them before they are a huge issue.
The Bugs You Need to Watch For
Some bugs prosper on numerous species of plant life. Most are quite harmless. Trees are just for shelter or hunting prey.
Though, there are pests which feed on trees, causing real damage, whether it be from the inside-out or the outside-in. These bad bugs are the ones you need to know about so you can spot them and get them gone before it’s too late. If you aren’t sure if your tree already has a bug problem, contact a tree care company and arrange a consultation. You want to resolve an infestation so you don't have to consider removing a dead tree.
Borers are possibly the most damaging to trees out of all pests. These types of bugs, also called tunneling insects, burrow deep inside twigs, roots, and stems to put their eggs. It’s the larvae from the eggs that bring the most damage to a tree, stopping the tree from being able to take in nutrients and water.
The names of some burrowing insects:
The most efficient way to keep these bad bugs away from your trees is through preventive measures. You should always have your tree pruned, mulched, and well-kept.
Pruning must only be done in the late autumn or winter, so your tree doesn’t attract bugs to open wounds.
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