If you are a residential or a commercial property owner, you are responsible for maintaining the property inside and out in order to prevent risks to visitors and passerby. One big issue you should focus on is the health of the trees on your property. A weak or dead tree, or dead tree branches, could fall and cause serious injuries or fatalities. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows property owners or agencies managing trees on public property could be held legally responsible if a tree falls due to negligent maintenance or failure to respond to red flags indicating a problem.
Red Flags to Watch for Suggesting Dangerous Trees
Summer is a time when trees tend to fall because of summer thunder and wind storms. It is also an ideal time to do a careful investigation of all trees on your property to see if there are any hazardous conditions which could indicate a tree is likely to tumble. You should check the trees on your property this summer to see if any of these red flags identified by Friends of Tree City USA exist.
One of the big red flags to look for is signs of root decay. Roots provide stability to trees and if there is a problem with the roots, the tree could fall over. Root problems are often not identified until it is too late because the roots are hidden underground and because small roots can compensate when big ones become damaged by fungi. A property owner may not know there is an issue, and the tree will appear to suddenly fall over because the roots have been damaged under ground. Mushrooms near the base of a tree are a good indicator of possible root decay because they can suggest the presence of fungi.
Dead branches on trees are also dangerous because they can fall off at any time, even on calm days. If there are large dead branches on a tree, get a professional to come and remove them before they fall down. You can reduce the chance of branches falling off a tree by looking for problems early. For example, when branches or tree limbs rub against each other or cross over each other, this can cause weakening and result in problems in the future. Early pruning could save the branches and prevent future injury risks.
You should also be aware of other signs of weakness. If a tree begins to lean suddenly, this can be an indicator of a major problem with the roots and could suggest the risk of the tree falling is imminent. If the tree trunk develops a fork, this can also be a sign of weakness you need to respond to, especially if one of the forks of the tree starts to grow out instead of growing up.
If you spot trouble, contact a professional to help you assess the safety of the tree and either take steps to save it or take steps to remove it before it falls on your home or on visitors to your property.