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Many of us have trees in our gardens but how do we identify a dangerous tree?

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In this post, a Belfast tree specialist will provide some basic tips on how to identify a dangerous tree, a tree that could potentially fail and hurt people, fail and damage property or is likely to create a situation where substantial damage and harm might potentially occur.

How To Identify Dangerous Trees

This first tip is a simple one. If you think a tree might be dangerous, take a look at the ground and soil around the base of the tree. If you can see displaced soil, cracking or or excessive ground movement, it should cause you concern. These signs might indicate that the tree-plate may be uprooting. It would be advisable to contact a professional Belfast tree surgeon immediately.

Trees that overhang roads and driveways. Tree removal may not be required and simply alleviating weight and removing the dangerous branches could solve the problem. If you are in any doubt, contact a professional Belfast arboriculturist or tree surgeon.

Excessive fungal growth might be a sign that a tree is infected and diseased. Look for large amounts of fungal growth at the base of the tree. If you notice anything suspicious, please call a Belfast tree specialist for further advice.

Look for trees with areas of missing bark. Missing bark may be indicative of dead or heavily diseased trees. These trees can potentially be dangerous. Please contact a Belfast tree specialist for more information.

Trees with two trunks/stem. Occasionally trees will grow two main trunks. Inspect where the two trunks meet. Look for storm damage or decay, or any other signs of tree damage. Healthy trees have a ā€œUā€ shaped crotch. If you notice a tight ā€œVā€ this can indicate a weakness in the structural integrity of the tree, and could potentially be dangerous

Remove dead wood. Dead wood is easy to identify because it has dead brown leaves and lacks any vegetation. These branches should be removed to prevent harm from the branch falling from height.

There are many other methods that a tree specialist may employ for detecting if a tree is dangerous.

Here are some common myths regarding trees:
  • Tall trees: Tall trees are not always dangerous and trees will not grow too tall, this is common misconception. If you need advice or reassurance, please call a Belfast tree specialist.
  • Leaning trees: Trees that lean are not usually a problem. Dangerous trees are trees that were straight and suddenly develop a lean. If you need advice, please call a Belfast tree surgeon.
  • Hollow trees: Sometimes hollow trees are a danger and sometimes they are not. The heartwood of a tree is technically dead, but does provide important structural support to the trunk and canopy above. If the area where the tree has been hollowed out is still structurally sound, the tree is not a danger. It should be noted that a strong storm can put extra pressure on a tree, and a tree that seems structurally sound in normal conditions may not be able to withstand the extra stress of high winds. If you are uncertain if the hollow tree is stable enough, have a professional Belfast arborist examine the tree.

A final note about tree preservation orders (TPO’s) some trees are part of our natural heritage and are protected under planning conditions similarly to a listed building. You must contact your local authority or a qualified Belfast tree surgeon before cutting or damaging these trees.

For more information about other dangers related to trees please contact our Belfast tree specialists to discuss your concerns. They are more than happy to help ease your worry and concerns.

Based in Belfast, Treescapes NI is one of the provinces leading tree surgery companies. Other aspects of our work include; tree maintenance, tree pruning, tree thinning, tree felling and removal, tree planting, hedge trimming, stump grinding, firewood supply, storm damage prevention and repair, site clearance.

Other areas we cover are; Belfast, Holywood, Bangor, Newtownards, Comber, Lisburn, Newtownabbey, Portadown, Downpatrick, Banbridge, Newry, Ballymena, Antrim, Dungannon, Cookstown, Magherafelt, Colraine.