dangerous trees pruning

Thank goodness for trees! They keep the air clean, healthy and enrich the environment. Not only this, but they also help to dampen noise pollution and provide us with natural beauty that we can look upon for ages to come.

But did you know that there are telltale signs of diseased and dangerous trees in the Greater Seattle area that can do more harm than good on your property?

If there are trees on your property that are damaged, diseased, or poorly maintained, they can do long-term damage to your health and property. Here is how you can identify such problems in your yard.

Tree Cracks/Splits

Often when the weather is colder, trees will expand and contract. Causing various cracks to form on the trees branches or trunk and to the root. Keep an eye on your trees when you notice the temperature fluctuate.

  • Vertical cracks – look out for 2 cracks on either side of the tree because sometimes it can mean there is root breakage.
  • Cracks going into the ground – if you can see a crack that goes into the ground from the tree, it’s time to take a closer look. This can occur because of lightning or the rotting of the inside of the tree trunk. This type of weakness may cause the tree to split in half.

Dead Wood

Though the name is somewhat self-explanatory, dead wood is what occurs on a branch or part of a tree that has died. Because of the soft and brittle nature of this wood, it can make the tree very unpredictable.

Here is how you can identify dead wood:

  • Change in foliage appearance: if you notice that there are some branches that are leafless while the rest are full and healthy looking, that could be an indicator of dead wood.
  • Bark on the ground: If there is bark that’s fallen on the ground and you notice that no new bark is replacing itself on the tree, that’s because there may be some dead wood beneath.
  • Fungus: if mushrooms or fungus starts sprouting, that might be an indicator that the wood is dead or at risk.
dangerous trees pruning everett

Damaged or diseased trees may need to be removed entirely.

Multiple Trunks

Often times, multiple trunks are not a problem but if they are connected weakly then there could be cause for concern. If the connection is weak then the tree has more of a chance of breaking because they produce too many layers of bark or crack more easily.

Take a look at the shape of the connections. Does it look more like a “V” shape or a “U” shape? If it’s more like a “U” then you’ve got a strong connection. If it’s like a “V” then there is more of a chance of it splitting down the middle at that point.

Tree Boring Insects

There are certain kinds of insects that will nest inside trees and their larvae feed on the living tissues. The damage they cause can be ultimately devastating to the health and life of the tree. They weaken the overall structure and branches, causing them to break and fall.

What to look for:

Small holes: if you can see tiny holes puncturing the tree trunk in a symmetrical shape, you may have tree borers. Sometimes they have a sawdust type substance around the area and falling on the ground below called frass that is easy to look out for.

Girdled trees: This is when a strip of bark is missing and seems to have been stripped from the entire circumference of the tree. This is very problematic to the safety of the tree because it’s where the tree spreads its nutrients.

It’s important to note that tree borers are attracted to trees that have already been damaged, so if you see some of the small holes or girdling and can catch it quick enough, it may stop the spreading of infestation.

What to do next:

If diseased or damaged trees are a problem in your yard, reach out to a professional for an assessment. Many of these problems can be fixed with pruning and cleaning up the area. For greater damage, sometimes the tree will have to be removed. In either case, a professional opinion is needed. Call us or fill out our form for a free consultation.


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