How do I know when a tree is at risk of falling down?

As a tree owner, it is very difficult to recognise/identify whether your tree is likely to fall over or fail.

You may have an idea that something is different with your tree, but it does not necessarily mean it will fall over.

Many tree owners worry about whether their tree is likely to fall or fail as it can cause issues to people or property nearby.

When I meet clients to discuss this particular question it is usually to get an opinion of an expert as they have seen something that they are not able to explain, resulting in making them doubt the stability of the tree. Should there be any concerns of the safety of the tree or its branches, it is always advised to ask a professional arborist, especially when the safety of others is at risk.

The general reasons for trees falling over or failing are due to;

  • Fungal infections and the decay they may cause.
  • Tree deaths
  • Extreme weather events such as high winds or heavy snow fall
  • Removal of the roots through excavation, therefore reducing the trees ability to anchor itself
  • Simply because some trees have characteristics that cause structural problems.

Sometimes trees fail for reasons that cannot be foreseen as they do not show any signs of problems. This is a very brief and not an extensive list of reasons which is why it is always advised to get an opinion from a professional.

As previously stated, tree owners sometimes have an idea that something is wrong even if it is only a slight inkling. It may be that they have seen a fungal fruit body which hasn’t been present before. It may be that the tree looks different, and gaps are forming in the crown, or there are exposed roots and loosened soil at the base of a tree. If you, as the tree owner, suspect that there is something wrong with your tree and are worried about the risk of it falling over, then contact us. We can view the tree in question and give you evidence based advice upon what the best course of action may be.

As qualified and experienced tree experts we are able to draw on a breadth of knowledge and experience and apply this specifically to your tree.

If you own, or are a manager of a site with a large tree population, it is possible to pre-empt tree related hazards or failure through undertaking regular tree inspections/surveys on a consultancy basis. This can help to identify issues that may relate to your tree stock and manage them appropriately. This can have a multitude of benefits to you as a manager as it helps to prevent unplanned tree management, along with helping to manage budgets effectively by prioritising works effectively.

Essentially if you ask yourself “How do I know when a tree is at risk of falling down?” then get advice from an expert. This will help to give you peace of mind on the condition of your tree and its stability, and will also help you to make the correct decisions whatever the recommendations may be. Contact us to arrange a consultation.