Winter Tree Danger

The long-range forecasts are out and it looks like Long Island is due for a busy winter, weather-wise. While hurricane season is almost over, Nor’easters and blizzards with their rain and snowfall are likely on the way, and these storms can spell disaster for your trees. Fallen trees not only can damage your property, or take out power lines, but a mature tree can account for as much as 10% of your assessed property value.

It is important to look over your trees at least once a year to see which ones are in danger of falling over. Here is how to tell which trees may fall, and what to do about it.

Leaning Trees

Trees usually don’t grow straight, and a little lean is normal. But when your tree starts looking like the Tower of Pisa—because of poor weight distribution or anchor root damage—it’s likely unstable. This is a good time to call an arborist.

Multiple Trunks

A tree with multiple trunks, or with splits in one trunk, can be unstable. V-shaped or U-shaped multiple trunks are weak points for mature trees. The connective wood where the trunks come together may lose strength—and be more likely to split—with age or when storms occur.

Damaged or Sick Trees

Pests, disease, and events like construction can weaken, damage, and destabilize your trees. Be on the lookout for damaged bark; reduced smaller, or no foliage; premature autumn color; mushrooms, conks, and carpenter ants at the base of the tree; and woodpecker activity along the trunk, as these are all signs of decay and rot.

If you think your trees are changing, or you see any of the major warning signs above, they could be “hazard trees”—trees likely to fall and destroy what’s near them, like your house.

This is a good time to call Aronica Plant Healthcare. Our tree experts can help save your tree or let you know if it’s beyond help.