The trees on your property can do a lot for your mental and physical well-being. Trees create shade and provide privacy. They also offer a pleasant place to relax outside and a fun focal point for children and pets. Trees attract birds, beneficial insects, and other wildlife to your property. They help to keep the air clean. There is no shortage of reasons why having a tree growing on your property is a wonderful thing.
As with any element of your home and property, however, you should always make safety a consideration. If they’re not properly cared for, it’s possible for trees to become a hazard, posing a risk to pets, people, and property. Prevention is key—try to avoid having a deadly tree on your property in the first place. Or, failing that, there are solutions that can make your yard safe again.
Below, we’ve listed several things that can make a tree deadly, as well as what you can do about it:
Weak Limbs or Branches
You probably expected this first entry on this list: one common hazard created by trees is that of falling limbs or branches. Tree limbs can become extremely heavy as the tree grows, and if they become diseased or unhealthy, they can drop suddenly and unexpectedly. Needless to say, you don’t want to be standing underneath your tree when this happens.
There are several causes for weak limbs or branches in your tree. Improper pruning is a major one. Too often, overzealous tree owners end up cutting off too much of a branch when they attempt to prune their trees themselves. This can end up leaving wounds in the tree limb, rendering it vulnerable to fungus, bacteria, and other diseases. Ultimately, this will weaken or kill the tree limb, turning it into a hazard.
To prevent the danger of falling limbs or branches, you should have your tree professionally pruned by an arborist from Mr. Tree. Your arborist can also perform inspections and prevent any unsafe conditions from developing. They can remove the damaged or diseased parts and ensure that only healthy, strong limbs and branches remain in your tree.
Poisonous Leaves, Flowers, or Berries
While some trees will bear edible fruit that you can simply pick and enjoy, others may pose a risk, such as toxic leaves, flowers, or berries. Usually, this risk is greater for children and pets. If a young child or an animal ingests any part of a poisonous tree, they can become extremely sick. In rare cases, fatalities have been reported as well.
You may assume that no one would knowingly plant a toxic tree on their property, but this isn’t the case. Actually, some of the most popular ornamental trees have some toxicity. For example, the oleander tree, which produces beautiful pink flowers and is a common sight in gardens everywhere, is extremely poisonous. Its branches and flowers contain cardiac glycoside toxins, which are known to affect the heart.
To prevent any problems resulting from poisonous trees, make sure you educate yourself whenever you plant anything on your property. If you have children or pets that are given free rein of the yard, it’s probably best to stick with non-toxic species. A deadly tree can be removed and replaced with something less risky.
If you think that someone has ingested part of a tree that is potentially toxic, contact your local Poison Control Center. For animals, there is usually a Pet Poison Hotline you can call.
Out of Control Roots
When it comes to trees, the danger doesn’t always come from above. Tree roots can become hazardous as well, for a number of reasons. If roots are allowed to grow out of control, they can become a major tripping hazard. If an unsuspecting person who is running outside catches their foot on an unseen tree root, they can be at risk of a major injury. Roots can also lift a sidewalk and render it unsafe for pedestrians.
If your tree has a root system that has grown out of control, you’ll need to secure the help of a good arborist, such as one from Mr. Tree. A skilled tree surgeon can often trim away dangerous roots without harming or killing a beloved tree.
Weak roots are also a major problem. Trees that fall unexpectedly or that collapse during windy weather usually do so because of an underdeveloped root system. Your tree’s roots serve as its anchor. They should be strong and help the tree to weather any storms that come by. A weak root system makes for a deadly tree.
Often, problems with your tree’s root system begin when the tree is planted in the first place. If a tree is overwatered or not watered enough, the roots can struggle to build enough strength to really take hold. If the tree is planted in the wrong location, this can also be a factor. A tree that’s in the wrong type of soil or planted too close to a building that will obstruct the roots will struggle to create a strong foundation.
To avoid problems with weak tree roots, get an arborist to help you whenever you plant a tree on your property. They will be able to advise you of the best locations to use, as well as the best tree species to plant for the particular soil type you have. They will also help to ensure you water the tree exactly enough.
Dead or Dying Tree
A dead tree on your property is also a deadly tree. It can fall at any time, damaging property and putting people and pets at risk. Learn to recognize the signs if one of your trees has died or is dying. Cracks in the trunk are a major sign, as well as a sparse canopy that isn’t producing as many leaves as it should. Mushrooms growing around the roots of the tree could mean they’re decaying, which can ultimately kill the tree. A tree that seems to be listing way over to one side can be a major hazard as well.
If your tree is dead or dying, contact the arborists from Mr. Tree to come remove it. We’ll be able to do so in a fast and safe manner, as well as help you plant a new tree so that you can continue to enjoy the benefits of having trees on your property for many years to come.