As the weather outside becomes frightful yet again, being able to identify trees at risk of damaging your home will save you money and stress this season!
Be Cautious of Leaning Trees
Some bend in a tree is common, but when a tree’s curve is very pronounced this indicates that the tree’s weight is not evenly distributed. Therefore, a strong gust or even excessive ice and snow could cause portions of the tree to fall. Leaning trees may also have root damage, adding to the risk on your property. Take the time to inspect these trees, if the tree seems excessively crooked and/or has exposed roots at the base, it’s time to take action.
Pruning overhanging branches can redistribute the weight of the tree to reduce the threat. Exercise extreme caution. You can also try to stabilize the leaning tree by securing the trunk with wiring attached to ground stakes. If you’re uncomfortable with these methods or the tree seems too unstable, seek to have the tree removed before inclement weather hits.
Examine for Signs of Tree Decay
Dead trees are at risk of falling all year-round, but winter will naturally complicate any recovery and removal procedures with snow and icy conditions. Make sure you know how many dead trees are on your property. Then, determine whether their proximity to structures would result in damage if they fall.
Identify signs of dead or dying trees, including rotting or discolored bark and the proliferation of dead branches. When a tree is dying, the bark will become discolored and fall away, which is a sign that the tree is unstable. The number of fallen limbs can also indicate the rate at which a tree’s health is declining. Bear in mind though, even a dead tree will likely have some remaining branches.
Other signs that a tree is at risk include the presence of fungus and the presence of brown leaves in winter. Fungus is indicative of root decay, which will greatly reduce a tree’s resistant to wind. Also, branches with fungus are also less sturdy. If you see brown leaves on a tree while all other trees’ leaves have faded with winter may indicate the tree in question is dead. This is because the tree died in an earlier season with leaves and therefore is not going through the seasonal changes.
Take Precautionary Measures as Soon as you Identify the Signs
After identifying the risky trees, don’t wait for the day just before the storm to address the threats to your home. If inexperienced in felling branches or removing trees, seek professional assistance.
This is also a good time to see what damage your home insurance covers. If you want to add to your home owner’s insurance coverage, our team at Freedom Insurance can help!