Some trees can be a big asset, while other trees can be a big problem. Knowing how to identify the characteristics of problem trees and branches can help you protect your property and loved ones. With summer now here, it's important to examine your trees to look for weak branches, problem branches and dying trees. The sooner you identify these problems, the faster you can start calling tree services for consultations and quotes for removal. 

Weak Branches Can Be Dangerous

Weak branches can pose a risk to property and people, even during mild storms. Branches that have a weak attachment to the trunk will form a "V" shape between the trunk and the branch, while branches with a strong attachment to the trunk will feature a "U" shape between the trunk and the branch.

Branches that are weakly attached will commonly sprout from parts of the tree where branches were previously pruned off. Pay close attention to the branches that sprout from these areas. In branches that have a weak attachment to the trunk, watch for cracks between the tree and the branch. Cracks are an indication of stress and could point to a problem in the future.

Overhanging Branches Create Problems

Branches that hang over the roof of a house can be a hazard. Even if they never fall from the tree onto the roof, these branches can create big maintenance problems. Vermin use overhanging branches to gain access to attics, while falling leaves from the branch will clog gutters and lead to roofing problems. 

Hazardous Trees Need to be Cut Down

Trees in distress need to be cured or cut down. Dying trees will often exhibit symptoms of distress, including:

  • Severe lean. Basically all trees lean a small amount, but trees with a severe lean are likely to fall over. 
  • Heaving roots. Roots that are being pulled up out of the ground--especially on the opposite side of the tree's lean--are an indication that tree no longer has a good hold in the ground. 
  • Death in the canopy. Dead branches and dead leaves in the canopy, even over a small percentage of the tree, are an indication that a tree is unhealthy and possibly dying. 
  • Decay. Presence of mushrooms on the side of a tree are an indication that the wood inside the trunk is rotting. 

If you have identified trees or branches on your property that pose a risk to you, your home or your family members, contact a reputable tree service, such as those found at, in your area for a consultation.