Many people find trees to be both beautiful and calming. But as beautiful as trees can be, and as good as they can be for the environment, they also pose a risk to many humans. When not properly maintained, a tree could fall and cause injury or even death. When we understand the risks and dangers associated with trees, we are better able to prevent problems.

If you are a homeowner with large trees in your yard, you should be assessing them for risk regularly. This includes after storms, if there is an insect threat in your area, or at least once per month. Keep in mind that while all trees could potentially fall, there are a very small number that actually hit something such as a car, a house, utility wires, or an individual. That being said, it is a tree owner’s responsibility to ensure safety of the area, especially related to trees on his or her property. Of course, if you’re not comfortable inspecting the trees on your property yourself, you can always hire a professional to take care of it for you.

Ready to start inspecting? Consider these questions:

  • Are there large, dead branches in the tree?
  • Does the tree have cavities or rotting wood along the trunk?
  • Are there large cracks or splits anywhere in the trunk or large branches?
  • Are roots of the tree visible above ground?
  • Have trees in an adjacent wooded area been removed for any reason?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to get some professional advice regarding your tree. While a defective tree can be dangerous, this doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be immediately removed from your property. In fact, there are some defects that can be treated, ultimately helping to prolong the life of your tree.

If your answer was a resounding “No” to the above questions, that’s great news. However, you may still want to contact a professional to come in and assess the trees on your property if you haven’t done this in a while. Preventive tree care can save homeowners thousands of dollars in potential damage or expensive removal services.

As the end of summer approaches, it’s also a good idea to prune your trees to help avoid any problems with branches this winter. Destructive winds, ice, and snow have been known to cause even the strongest of trees to lose their branches–and you don’t want that to happen on your property. Unsafe branches on your trees include those that are weak and brittle or branches that are adjacent and rubbing together.

Now that you know what to look for to keep your trees healthy, enjoy the last full month of summer and step outside to care for your trees. If you don’t have time or if you’re uncomfortable looking for tree damage, call in the professionals.