Posted on: 5 June 2017
In 2016, one of the most ferocious storms in 50 years tore through Australia, with powerful winds bringing down trees all over the country. If there is a particularly large tree in the vicinity of your property, you need to ensure that it is sturdy enough to stand up to strong winds. While you may not be able to predict the weather, with careful examination, you can determine whether or not your tree could become a hazard in the next big storm.
If you have found yourself glancing worriedly at that large tree near your home recently, you should perform a thorough check to put your mind at ease. When gauging the fall risk of a tree, keep the following factors in mind.
The Tree's Age and Species
Older trees that are nearing the end of their life should be removed if they are in close proximity to homes. At the very least, they should be assessed by an arborist to determine the risk they pose to your home and the surrounding area.
Ensure that you are correct when working out the species of your tree, as some tree species can easily be mistaken for other trees. For example, maple trees are all similar in appearance; however, while red maples only live for an average of 80-100 years, silver maples live for around 150 years.
If you see fungus or mushrooms growing around the base of a tree or anywhere on the trunk, this is a sign of decay. Decaying wood is weaker and therefore means your tree could topple when exposed to high winds.
A Split Trunk
Mature trees with split trunks are especially susceptible to high winds. As trees age, the burden on these weak points increases, especially regarding v-splits. U-splits, on the other hand, are stronger than v-splits and so don't pose as much of a threat in high winds.
Holes in the Tree
When trees no longer need branches or are under stress, they shed those branches to conserve nutrients and water. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to the formation of a hole in the trunk of a tree. Because the wood of the tree in that area is exposed to bacteria, pests and rainfall, it is essentially dead and therefore is weaker. This is something you should take into account when assessing the risk posed by your tree.
More obvious indicators of danger are dead branches in a tree's canopy and trees that lean to one side, especially larger trees. If you believe your tree to be a hazard to your home, don't wait for the next storm to find out. Have an arborist help you determine whether or not you should have the tree removed. Even if removing the tree means losing shade and property value, you can always replace the tree with a younger and stronger one in the future.Share