Of course, even healthy trees have the potential of falling or losing limbs during storms, but there are some things to watch out for that can let you know if trees around your home are more vulnerable.
- Noticeable defects such as fungi, cracks, bulges or hollows in the trunk, can be a sign that the tree has been weakened, and could be brought down in a storm.
- Wood decay, injuries to the tree and shallow root structure can cause weakening of trees.
- Previous damage to trees where limbs have broken off or bark has been wounded makes trees susceptible to invasive pests, decay and weakening.
- A tree that isn't perfectly straight isn't necessarily at risk, but if your tree leans heavily, it may be from poor weight distribution or anchor root damage.
- Trees with multiple trunks or with splits in one trunk may be unstable.
- Construction near trees, including driveways and walkways can damage shallow feeder roots and destabilise a tree.
- Cracked or heaving soil – where the soil pushes upwards - especially on the side opposite of the lean of the tree can be destabilising.
- Look out for largely exposed roots that were previously covered with soil.
If you contact your local tree services professional, they can inspect your trees and spot any problems before they become dangerous.