Why City Trees are More Dangerous than Forest Trees
It seems counter-intuitive to say that people living in heavily wooded areas are safer from tree damage than urbanites, but this surprising fact is actually true. Let us explain why.
In a forest or bushland environment, there are usually many trees, all of which are competing for sunlight, groundwater and other resources. Bushland trees have thinner canopies and limbs, and when stormy weather strikes, their falling limbs and trunks aren’t always large enough to have an enormous impact on their surrounding environment.
City trees, however, usually grow alone and reap the benefits of unlimited resources. This makes them grow to be thicker and heavier than forest trees, so when they fall they wreak havoc on urban environments, damaging homes and cars, and blocking off streets.
Fortunately, most storm damage caused by urban trees is entirely preventable. In fact, it’s estimated that 75 per cent of tree damage from storms is caused by pre-existing problems with the trees, not by the storm itself. That’s why it’s so important to have your trees inspected by a qualified arborist and the necessary tree services carried out before the storm season.
What to Look for Before a Storm
If you want to storm-proof your home but are unsure if you need to book one or more of our tree services, it’s a good idea to check your property’s trees for signs of damage. Signs to look out for include:
- Already weak or fractured limbs: Limbs or fronds that are incorrectly pruned or are already broken are hazards. Aside from being blown off in a storm, they can weaken trees and leave them susceptible to a disease or infection that later causes the whole tree to topple.
- Diseased or dead wood: This is the most common cause of tree failure in storms. One obvious sign of a diseased tree is “tip dieback”. When a limb that has green leaves ends in brown tips, this is a sign that a tree may be near the end of its life and could easily blow over in a moderate storm. Other signs to look out for include peeling bark, hollowed areas, decay near branches and fungus growth at the base of the trunk.
- Waterlogged or dried out roots: If trees are located in soil that is consistently too wet or too dry, they may have shallow or unstable roots and fall or lean in a storm. We have a variety of tree services to help make these trees safe in storm season.
- Forked or split trunks: Trees with multiple trunks that are roughly the same size are highly susceptible to splitting and falling over, especially during a storm.
- Leaning tree trunks: Trees don’t always grow straight upwards but if the base of a tree shows cracked soil and exposed roots as well as a significant lean, you need a tree service evaluation.
Usually, by the time a potential problem with a tree becomes apparent to the naked eye, it needs a much more extensive tree service than if its owner had budgeted for routine maintenance.
Following a large storm that has snapped branches and blown over trees in your neighbourhood, you may also be worried about the stability of the trees still standing on your property.
We can help clean up the debris after a storm as well as identify and remove any at-risk trees that could interfere with buildings, power lines or cars under very windy conditions.
Avoid Legal Drama with Tree Services
As a property owner, you are legally responsible for trees on your property. If one of your trees is in a dangerous condition before or after a storm and this results in your neighbour incurring losses, you might be liable to pay for their damages!
If you have a species of tree that is known to drop its branches, or that a neighbour has already raised concerns about, then it’s even more important to book a tree service before storm season hits.
Invest in Your Tree’s Health
Homeowners can save a lot of money on repairing property damage caused by trees if they invest in keeping their trees healthy year-round.
When you consider the money spent on maintaining lawns (seeding, mowing, watering, weed control), it makes sense to spend a little money on your trees as well. Tree servicing is of particular importance for young trees that need initial care to grow correctly for the rest of their lives.
Different trees pose different levels of risk. While some species are unaffected by storms, others are highly prone to damage. We can advise you about the types of trees you’re best off planting in the first place as well as if any trees you have need to be removed.
Removing problem trees and limbs may seem straightforward, but it requires precise handling to make sure the limbs stay balanced and it doesn’t topple over in the wrong direction.