Tree Damage Advice
March and April are the windiest months of the year. Across most of the country, wind speeds and power tend to be 3-5 times stronger in early spring. Wind can transform a beautiful tree into a homeowner’s worst nightmare. It is always a good idea to keep your trees healthy and trim in anticipation of wind storms.
Today, we are lucky enough to be sitting down with expert arborist, Geoffrey Mongeon owner of Above & Beyond Tree Services, to discuss trees and your home.
1) What are the most common reasons for trees causing damage?
- Too many trees: An excessive amount of trees can prevent sunlight penetration and good airflow. This can lead to excessive moisture around the property. Moisture can lead to mold on shingles and siding. Left untreated it can eventually rot unprotected wood.
- Damaged or Rotting Trees and Branches: Trees that are not healthy are very likely to break off and cause damage to your property even in normal weather conditions. Branches that don’t grow properly can separate from the main trunk. Rotted areas within the tree’s main trunk can collapse, causing parts of the tree to fall down.
- Large Roots: Roots are usually only a problem in proximity to their surroundings. Roots too close to the driveways will cause the concrete or pavement to buckle or crack. Some roots near retaining walls are actually strong enough to push the walls over. This is very common in basements. Roots that grow deep can interfere with sewer or septic lines.
- Look for signs of splitting or tearing of the bark or branch unions, where the branch attaches to the main trunk.
- Examine the ground to ensure that the tree shows no signs of uplifting or uprooting
- Look for rot spots or squirrel holes
- Trees with extreme leans
- Examine the trunk for little bore holes
- Look for sawdust around the base of the tree. This could be a sign of carpenter ant infestation.
3) Can this tree be saved? How do I know if a tree is past being helped?
- In some cases hazardous trees can be saved. Trees that have a split or cracked can be bolted and/or braced together. This also applies to trees that have poor branch attachments. Cables or bolts can help to reinforce the attachment. It should be noted that braces can be effective but there’s no guarantee the tree still couldn’t cause damage to your property.
- Trees that have been compromised by infestation or rot should be removed. There are steps to eliminate infestation; however, once the tree has been compromised by excessive rot or chewing, there is no effective way to replace the damaged wood. In other words, the tree will always be weak and can get worse as time passes.
- Ask a PROFESSIONAL to supply you with a hazardous tree assessment. A reputable arborist should be able to tell a customer whether or not a tree is salvageable.
- Homeowners should make themselves familiar with the trees on their property. Know what kind of trees are on the property and what the characteristic of each tree is. (For example, is it a brittle tree or hardy tree?)
- Be proactive……don’t wait for a storm to come up the east coast to call an arborist for professional help.
- Look for simple signs of a hazardous tree as listed above.
5) Any other tips?
- Stay off of ladders and call a professional. Tree work is extremely dangerous and should only be performed by the most qualified tree workers.
- When seeking advice, make sure the person giving it is licensed and insured.
- Get several opinions before making a final decision.
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