Troublesome Trees: How to Spot a Dangerous Tree

10 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Trees are a great feature in any garden. However, due to factors such as their age, pest damage or the weather, trees can become unsafe. But how do you identify an unsafe tree? Dangerous trees will often display signs that anyone with a bit of knowledge can spot. Below is a simple guide to help you identify dangerous trees.

Overall Inspection

You should begin by conducting an overall inspection of the tree. Standing in a spot where you can see the entire tree, observe it and make note of the direction and severity of any leaning. You should also look for dead branches, which are a sign of a rotten tree. Observe the leaf coverage and make note of any areas in which there are fewer or no leaves, as this is a good indicator of the overall health of the tree. If you spot any of these signs, your tree may be dying or in danger of falling over.

Ground Inspection

As well as feeding the tree, roots also provide stability by anchoring it into the ground. If the roots have started to decay or rot, the tree is in serious trouble and could fall at any moment. You should carry out an inspection of the ground around the base of the tree, removing any ground cover so you can get a look at the spot where the ground meets the tree trunk. If you notice that the soil is raised or cracked, this could be a sign that the tree is beginning to shift and uproot itself from the ground. Next you should look for the growth of mushrooms at the base of a tree, as this can be a sign of rotting roots. 

Trunk Inspection

Next, closely inspect the trunk of the tree. Make a note of any cavities or cracks in the trunk, which, over time, can split the entire tree. You should also look for any sawdust on the ground surrounding the tree. When pests attack a tree, they will often bore into the trunk, leaving behind sawdust on the ground. If there are sections of trunk which have no bark or where the bark is beginning to fall off, this suggest that the trunk is dead in these sections.

Canopy Inspection

You should inspect the canopy of the tree, looking for any dead branches which do not have leaves. Stormy weather can also damage the canopy of a tree. Trees will naturally shed dead or damaged branches, which can present a hazard to people and property below. Because of this, it is best to have broken or dead branches removed.

If you have any concerns about the health of a tree, it is best to call a professional tree consultant who will be able to carry out a full inspection and any work required to make the tree safe.