July 1, 2015 1:32 am
“Growing trees will ‘catch’ more wind and become heavier, so they are prone to increased mechanical stresses, increasing the chances of failure,” explains Tchukki Andersen of the TCIA. “Preparing trees for a natural disaster is a must and should be done well in advance of the storm season. To help ease these dangers, have a professional arborist evaluate your trees. Doing this will help you determine potential weaknesses and dangers.”
Andersen advises homeowners to inspect their trees for the following warning signs:
• Wires in contact with tree branches. Trees may become energized when they are contacted by electric wires.
• Dead or partially attached limbs hung up in the higher branches that could fall and cause damage or injury.
• Cracked stems and branch forks that could cause catastrophic failure of a tree section.
• Hollow or decayed areas on the trunk or main limbs, or mushrooms growing from the bark that indicate a decayed and weakened stem.
• Peeling bark or gaping wounds in the trunk also indicate structural weakness.
• Fallen or uprooted trees putting pressure on other trees beneath them.
• Tight, V-shaped forks, which are much more prone to failure than open U-shaped ones.
• Heaving soil at the tree base is a potential indicator of an unsound root system.
Remember, too, that a tree is a living thing, and its integrity and stability change over time, so don’t assume that a tree that has survived nine severe storms will necessarily survive a tenth, Andersen cautions.
Published with permission from RISMedia.