Identifying Hazardous Tree Conditions
For the most part, trees are typically safe. However, there are times when trees can fall over, drop limbs, house harmful pests or rodents, cause electrocution and create other hazardous conditions. Trees are an important part of our society, and provide significant benefits to the environment, but they must be properly maintained and potential threats identified quickly, to prevent harm to people or damage to property.
As a property owner, there are times when you can be liable for harm or damage caused by trees. With the information on this page, we hope to help you identify some of the common tree hazards you should be aware of. Use this list to check your trees at least once per month, and more often during stormy weather. Once you have identified any anomalies, it is a good idea to contact a Professional Tree Service to evaluate the seriousness of the defect.
Tree Hazard Checklist
- Are there large dead branches in the tree?
- Are there detached branches hanging from the tree?
- Does the tree have cavities or rotten wood along the trunk, or in major branches?
- Are there mushrooms present at the base of the tree?
- Are there cracks or splits in the branches or trunk of the tree?
- Have any branches dropped from the tree, or are there any other dead trees adjacent to the tree in question?
- Does the trunk appear to be moving or leaning more than usual?
- Has lowered soil level, pavement, side walk installation or other construction damaged the root system?
- Are the leaves prematurely falling or changing color and size?
- Has the tree been over-pruned or extremely topped?