The Hazard In Residential Trees: 2 FAQs

28 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Trees are an integral part of the eco-system. In addition to their unparalleled aesthetic value, trees have various functional roles in the residential set-up. 

However, there comes a time when the presence of tree/trees is considered hazardous and its removal becomes unavoidable. This article provides answers to a few common questions about hazard trees for the benefit of the modern homeowner.

When Is A Tree Considered Hazardous?

Trees are said to become a hazard when they have structural defects that pose a risk to the safety and/or security of people and property in its immediate surroundings. Structural defects make trees hazardous because their branches, large twigs and even the entire tree can fall off the tree and on to something or someone.

However, a tree is only considered hazardous when its potential target(s) in the event that it falls off lies within the falling distance of the fallen branch, twig, or entire tree. As such, free-standing trees that have structural defects but are located away from people and property cannot be considered hazardous.

How Can One Identify A Hazard Tree?

The identification of hazard trees requires a homeowner to identify structural defects on their trees in their early stages.

Common structural defects to look for when inspecting a potentially hazardous tree include, but they're not limited to the following:

  • Crossing branches: When tree branches cross or rub against each other as they continue to grow, the development of weak points along the structure of the tree becomes inevitable. Pruning of such branches is the best way to counter this problem.
  • Forked trunks: Forked trunks also have the potential to make a tree hazardous through the development of weak points. Often, this happens when one side of the trunk begins to grow in an outward direction instead of growing upwards. A tree service specialist would be in a position to correct this defect using braces and cables to strengthen the trunk if a hazardous situation is to be avoided.
  • Leaning trees: In the ideal situation, trees should exhibit vertical growth unless their growth has always leaned toward a particular direction. When trees suddenly begin to grow off-centre, it is an indication that its root system has been interfered with and the system can no longer provide adequate anchorage and support required for vertical growth.

Homeowners who find themselves with no option but to undertake the removal of a hazardous tree should make an effort to plant a replacement tree for every tree that they cut down.