Everybody loves trees. They’re majestic, they give us shade, and some offer spectacular color in the fall and a profusion of beautiful blooms in the spring.
But sometimes, a tree’s health has suffered so much that it becomes a danger.
A tree on your property with significant decay or unstable branches is a hazard to your property and the people who visit it.
How to identify a dangerous tree? And, once you spot one, what should you do about it?
James Kole, branch manager at Level Green Landscaping, offers some tips.
First, Take A Walk
Your account manager is the first line of defense against dangerous trees, Kole says. If you haven't walked your property recently with your account manager to inspect your trees, late fall is a great time.
With leaves down, the branches and their structure are more obvious than ever, and you can get a good look. Then, if you spot any problems, there's still time to act before snow and ice move in.
"Your account manager will likely see things you don't see," Kole says.
How To Identify A Dangerous Tree
"When we do a quality inspection, we may notice there are lots of dying branches, or the tree is leaning," Kole says. "We might notice the roots are exposed above the surface, or there's peeling bark, or mushrooms growing on the trunk. Those are all signs that a tree isn't healthy."
What Level Green Can Do
If there are a few problem branches that could come crashing down in a wind storm or under the weight of snow and ice, our trained crews can use a pole pruner to remove them, Kole says, as long as they're not higher than 15 feet off the ground.
Higher branches that require crews to climb the tree or climb a ladder require a tree trimming service with the appropriate qualifications and insurance, he says.
Level Green crews can also treat a diseased tree with fungicide if there's a chance to save it, he says.
When It's Time For An Arborist
"If we notice decay, we call in an arborist to assess the tree," Kole says.
An arborist can use a resistograph to assess how much decay is in a damaged tree, Kole says.
A resistograph is a drill-like instrument that detects wood decay, stages of rot, hollow areas and cracks in trees and translates the information into a graph.
The tiny drilling hole heals itself, and doesn’t damage the tree.
How To Remove A Dangerous Tree
If a tree is beyond saving and has to be removed, Level Green calls on a professional tree removal service for the job. While we're experts at keeping trees healthy and pruning out frail branches before they become a hazard, we leave the big tree removal projects to the pros with the right expertise and equipment.
The Danger Of An Unhealthy Tree
A tree with dead branches, decay or disease poses a threat to people on your property, as well as to cars and buildings.
"If a tree isn't healthy, a high wind storm can knock down branches onto people, cars and buildings," Kole says. The weight of snow or ice can bring unstable branches down, too, he says.
When a tree has significant rot or decay, the whole tree could crash down, posing an even more dangerous risk.
Treat Your Trees Right
The better care trees get throughout their life, the longer they’ll live and the healthier they’ll be, with fewer dead branches and diseases.
“Some new properties that we take on haven't had a proper tree program for years, and may have several trees that need to come down," Kole says. "Properties that we've taken care of for a long time, their trees typically just need regular pruning to keep them healthy."
Trust Your Tree Health To Level Green
At Level Green Landscaping, we hope to nurture the beautiful trees on your property through many years of good health.
But if you have a tree that's unhealthy, and a danger to your property, we can help with that, too.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.