4 Tree Hazards You Might Have Missed

By: albertaarb - September 18, 2014

Trees provide shade and add welcome greenery to the landscape, but you should also be aware of tree hazards. Minor tree problems may be solved through standard maintenance, but sometimes trees need to be removed entirely. Here are the most common and serious tree problems you may experience.

Trees and Power Lines

Trees planted too close to power lines or phone lines often grow over the lines. This can damage the lines over time as the branches rub against them or even rest on them, weighing the lines down.

On windy days, as branches sway or break, their weight can snap these lines, resulting in loss of home power or phone service. A professional tree trimming service should always cut branches that are at risk of interfering with power or phone lines.

Do not risk electrocution or other serious injuries by trying to cut these trees yourself.

Falling Limbs

Tree limbs may break and fall during strong winds or if tree branches have become fragile through disease or severe drought. Yes, the smallest branches rarely cause serious injury or property damage. But large branches can easily smash through windows, penetrate roofs or walls and injure or kill anyone in their path. Falling limbs are potentially one of the most dangerous tree hazards the average citizen may experience.

The best way to avoid this is to keep your trees well trimmed, well watered and disease-free. Branches should not be allowed to grow over roofs or driveways.

Tree Roots and Drainage Systems

When a sewer line backs up, many homeowners are surprised to learn that tree roots may be the cause. Tree roots can extend much further than you might expect. This means that trees you think are planted far enough from the home might still cause problems.

Tree roots seek out water and nutrients, and sewer pipes contain both. Roots get into the pipes through small holes or cracks and, as they grow, they create a blockage, which interferes with drainage. Tree roots can also widen existing cracks in the pipe, creating more damage.

A sewer professional can sometimes clear the sewer lines temporarily, but eventually the tree causing the problem should be removed. Because of the cost of tree removal services and replacing damaged sewer lines, this may be one of the most costly of the common tree hazards.    

Tree Diseases

Tree diseases such as oak wilt and Dutch elm disease eventually lead to the death of the affected tree. Diseased trees are typically fragile trees. This means branches fall more easily, potentially causing personal injury and property damage.

Like contagious diseases in humans, many tree diseases can spread and will take over other trees within entire neighborhoods if the disease is not contained. If any of your trees have developed an untreatable disease, it should be removed and disposed of properly. Diseased tree parts should not remain on the property after tree removal.

When adding new trees to your property, you should be informed about their growth habits and maintenance requirements before planting. Err on the safe side by planting trees no closer than 100 feet from the home. Keep older trees well trimmed and consult with tree professionals whenever you suspect trees might be diseased. By remaining aware and practicing good tree maintenance, you can diminish most potential tree hazards.

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