5 Ways To Spot a Hazardous Tree!

September 16, 2015 - 3 min read

A fallen tree can cause damage to our garden and home, so it is important to know how to spot signs of a damaged tree. Read on to find out!

No garden is complete without at least a few tranquil, shady trees. However, it only takes a split second for a fallen tree or broken branch to wreak havoc on your property. It’s much better to be safe than sorry this storm season, so we’ve prepared a few things to look out for when identifying a potentially hazardous tree.

Fungal Growth


If you notice mushrooms growing out of or near the trunk of your tree, this may be a sign of decay. You can often tell how serious the rot is by the amount of fungi growth that is visible. However, if you see dead sections on your tree trunk with no bark, this may also indicate a fungal attack.

Your local arborist will accurately diagnose the health of your trees, and advise you on the best way to proceed.

Holes & Cracks in the Tree Trunk

Tree with holes

Most trees will have some kind of hollow or minor cracks. However, if you can see that the cavities are quite deep and extensive, a dangerous break may be fast approaching. The presence of insects can often worsen cracks and cavities.

It’s also a good idea to check if weeds or ivy at the base of your tree is hiding any holes or other warning signs. If you have any concerns about the state of your trees, your local Emerald arborist or property maintenance expert will give you peace of mind.

Broken, Dead & Hanging Branches


To prevent a dead or damaged branch from turning into a dangerous missile, it’s vital to spot the warning signs. Branches with stripped bark, brown leaves or no leaves at all, should be inspected and removed by a trained professional as soon as possible.

This is also the case for broken limbs that are hanging among other branches. It’s important to remember that perfectly healthy branches can turn into hazards in the event of foul weather.

If you notice tree branches hanging too close to your house or local power lines, be sure to call your local tree trimmer ASAP. Doing this will save you a lot of money and prevent a lot of frustration.

Digging and/or Construction Work Near the Base of the Tree

excavator near trees

If you have recently been building or digging in your front or backyard, it is important to make sure your tree roots haven’t been damaged.

If the earth around one of your trees has been disturbed, the tree is much more likely to fall during a storm. Fortunately, your local arborist will be able to inspect your tree and accurately diagnose any issues that need taking care of.

Root Rot 

rotted stump

There are two kinds of tree roots: the larger anchoring roots that keep your tree in place, and the smaller absorbing roots that draw nutrients and moisture from the soil. Though your tree may appear to be healthy and flourishing, your anchoring roots may well be decaying, as the rot will likely not affect the absorbing roots. Only a minor disturbance to a tree with decaying anchor roots can cause it to completely collapse!

Signs of rotting anchor roots include raised soil near the tree (which can point to uprooting), cracks, hollows and fungal growth.

If you have any suspicions of root rot, be sure to call your local arborist. They will diagnose the problem and advise you whether or not the tree needs to be completely removed.

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