A fallen tree limb could be a safety hazard or a minor inconvenience. It all depends on the size and location of the breakage. A large limb falling on top of a house is more worrisome than a small branch falling in an open field. Nevertheless, it’s important to address these issues, ideally before the limb falls off completely. Here are some warning signs a tree limb is about to fall.
The Limb Is Not Blooming Like the Others
Is there one noticeably dead limb compared to the rest of the tree? All the others have leaves and foliage, but this one just looks barren. This could be a sign that the tree limb is about to fall. The limb is no longer collecting vital nutrients, and the tree may be attempting to self-shed. An arborist can tell you if the limb is salvageable or if it needs to be removed from the tree.
The Limb Sways Heavily in the Wind
Limbs and branches may sway slightly in the wind, but they should remain relatively stable. If you notice one limb or branch swaying heavily, it could be a sign of weakness. The movement could create a crack in the tree or worsen an already existing weak point. Remove the limb to create a controlled break, rather than a potentially problematic fall.
There Is a Crack Where the Limb Meets the Trunk
If you can see a seam where the limb meets the trunk, that’s an early warning sign of breakage. As the limb gets heavier and moves with the wind, the crack will spread. Eventually, the limb will fall off completely, landing on whatever is around it. The exception to this would be in the event of a wide tree that has sufficient wood to support the crack. If the crack never widens, the limb may have enough support to remain upright.
Other Limbs Have Already Fallen off the Tree
As we mention above, trees often perform self-shedding. This is common when a tree is not getting sufficient nutrients from the soil. In order to protect itself, the tree releases excess branches and limbs. This allows the remaining part of the tree to get as much nutrition as possible.
If you have seen other limbs fall off the tree, there could be more to come. We can evaluate the health of the tree and find a solution for the root problem. This may include strategic pruning, deep root fertilization, or a myriad of other tree services.
You’ve Seen a Noticeable Droop in the Tree Limb over Time
Does that limb get lower and lower each year? It may be going through a gradual decline. Fallen limbs usually don’t happen overnight. It takes weeks, months or even years for the break to turn into a complete collapse. Don’t ignore these signs until they’re too late. Talk to a tree expert near you about your options.
Should I Remove a Falling Tree Limb?
When dealing with a falling tree limb, it’s always best to take a proactive approach. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to remove the limb. You may be able to restore the tree’s health and salvage the limb before it falls. If the limb cannot be healed, you’ll want to remove it before it causes any damage to your property. The tree specialists at Berns Landscaping would be happy to assist you.
We provide tree removal, tree pruning, disease prevention, and other tree services in Southeast Michigan. Our tree climbers and pruners are guided by a certified arborist. You will receive specialized care that is tailored to the trees on your property. To learn more or to schedule a tree service consultation, call (586) 756-1145.