Falling trees can be a greater safety hazard than most homeowners realize. Whether you have a large property covered with trees or a few large ones near your house, it’s important to keep an eye on your trees and make sure they don’t pose a safety risk to your family, pets, or guests. A professional arborist can help by assessing the risks of any trees on your property and properly maintaining them to avoid falling trees or limbs. Here are our tips for spotting indicators that a tree on your property may be dangerous.

Inspect the Overall Tree

A good place to start is by finding a position where you can see the whole tree, top to bottom. Use this vantage point to determine whether the tree is leaning to one side or another, and spot any possible dead limbs hanging from the branches. These are signs that your tree may be unhealthy or posing a safety hazard on your property. It’s especially important to contact an arborist if you notice a large, dead limb hanging from your tree, as these can be extremely dangerous.

The Ground

The next step is to examine the ground. After all, the foundation of any tree’s health is the root system. There are two main types of tree roots that keep the tree healthy, fed, and structurally sound. There are anchoring roots, which are strong structural support for a tree, and absorbing roots, which are responsible for absorbing nutrients from the soil. If the anchoring roots are rotting or decaying, this can make the tree unstable and dangerous. Try to pull back any ivy or ground cover that may be hiding the visible roots and check for rotting at the base of the tree.

The Trunk

Next, inspect the tree trunk. It’s important that the trunk is strong and stable in order to support the weight of the canopy. Look for cracks or cavities that could pose structural problems for your tree. These can be signs of splitting and cracking that can result in your tree falling or breaking apart in a dangerous manner.

The Canopy

It’s crucial to look for dead wood in your tree’s canopy. This is one of the surest signs of an unhealthy, dangerous tree. During storms, these trees will be more likely to drop large, dangerous branches or even fall down on your property.