Have you ever wondered if the large trees by your house would fall on it during some wind or storm event? First, stop worrying. Most trees in residential settings are sound and have many years of healthy life before becoming a hazard to your home. However, if your tree is unsafe it could be a threat to lives and property. How does a tree become a hazard?
"Many shade and ornamental trees are damaged throughout the year by windstorms, lightning or ice and snow accumulations," notes Tchukki Andersen, CTSP*, Board Certified Master Arborist and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association. "Damage usually consists of a few broken branches. However, more severe damage – such as splitting or pulling apart of branch unions, removal of large areas of bark, twisting and splitting of the trunk or even uprooting – pose possible dangers."
A few tree species, including Chinese elm, silver maple, boxelder and various poplars, have brittle wood that is easily broken. These rapidly growing trees cause a considerable amount of damage to homes, cars, buildings and utility lines each year. Homeowners should be aware of these characteristics and avoid planting them close to potential targets. If such trees are already growing in these locations, preventive pruning, bracing or cabling may help reduce storm damage this winter. This is particularly true as the tree grows in size and the weight and surface of the leaf and branch area increases.
Over the years, growing trees will add more leaves, become heavier and "catch" more wind, so they are prone to increased mechanical stresses, thus increasing the chances of failure. Larger trees will also affect an increased area should they or their larger limbs fall. This means that homes, other structures and power lines that might not have been threatened a few years ago might now be under threat by a tree that has grown. Preparing trees to better withstand these natural events is necessary and should be done well in advance of storm season. To help ease these dangers, have a professional arborist evaluate your trees. Doing this will help identify potential weaknesses and dangers.
Look at your trees for the following warning signs:
Remember, too, that a tree is a living thing, and its integrity and stability change over time. Don't assume that a tree that has survived 10 severe storms will necessarily survive an eleventh
Find a professional
A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to determine the best course of action to care for and maintain the trees and shrubs in your landscape. Contact the Tree Care Industry Association, a public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture since 1938. TCIA has more than 2,400 member tree care firms and affiliated companies. All member tree care companies recognize stringent safety and performance standards and are required to carry liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance, where applicable.
TCIA has the nation's only Accreditation program that helps consumers find tree care companies that have been inspected and accredited based on: adherence to industry standards for quality and safety; maintenance of trained, professional staff; and dedication to ethics and quality in business practices. An easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the "Find A Tree Care Company" program. You can use this service by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search on www.treecaretips.org
When Will My Tree Fall on My House?
Posted: 9:45 AM, Sep 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-17 09:46:26-04