Tell Tale Signs Your Tree Needs Attention
It’s often a part of the grand Australian dream: a home with a big backyard, plenty of space for kids and pets to play, and a beautiful, luscious garden with plenty of tree coverage to provide shade for the dream deck where you’ll sit with a cup of tea. With so many changes happening so quickly in the Australian real estate market, that dream of the ‘perfect home’ is getting harder and harder to achieve for many. However, once it’s finally achieved, the work doesn’t end there. Living in a home with a garden requires many types of care and upkeep activities, and one area that can potentially turn problematic is in the tree care domain.
Many Brisbane homes are graced with the presence of beautiful trees in their back or front yards, which have provided shade and foliage coverage for decades. It can be difficult, even slightly emotional, to make a decision about a tree’s health which may lead to its removal. However, it’s important for both the structure of your garden and safety of your home and family to identify when a tree needs some attention.
An experienced and professional tree lopper will be able to guide you through the process of evaluating an individual tree’s needs and the best course of treatment. These considerations include…
Where is the tree located?
It’s important to begin by evaluating the tree’s location. If it’s close to buildings and its branches can touch the walls or even the roof, you have a potential problem on your hands when it comes to any storms which may cause damage or continued future growth. A tree’s location can also impact on the amount of sunlight which reaches a house or yard. If its shade falls over a yard in the wrong spot, proper grass growth can be prevented, or mould could grow under your home. This can lead to much more expensive problems down the track which may require extensive work, so it’s best to do what you can at this early stage to avoid any later issues.
It’s also important to think about the parts of the tree you don’t see – its roots. Underground utilities and drains could be affected by the growth of a tree’s roots beyond safe parameters. Tree roots which grow deep underground hold the potential to pierce through drainpipes and cut off the water flow to your property if not managed. Roots can also cause cracks in house foundations and concrete footpaths, which can cause expensive damage and large safety issues. Large root systems can lift a building’s foundations, creating an uneven surface which can even extend into neighbouring properties. There’s a good chance you could find yourself living next to a very unhappy neighbour if a tree within the boundaries of your property has begun to cause unevenness and problem areas within their own gardens.
If you’ve got a tree on your property with any of these symptoms, it may be time to consider its removal.
Take a look at the tree’s branches
The next thing to evaluate is your tree’s individual branches. If there are any dead or hanging branches which could become problematic during a strong wind, your tree may require some TLC from a tree lopping professional to ensure your home remains a safe environment.
As well, if trees have any kind of distinctive lean, such as towards a driveway or a housing structure, heavy tree branches pose a great risk in the event of a fierce storm. All it takes is one misplaced branch and one powerful gust of the wind to bring a great amount of damage onto your car, roof, outdoor landscaping or even yourself. Too many accidents occur during storms which are entirely avoidable through responsible tree management and monitoring of risks and hazards involving branches.
Tree height is also an aspect to consider if there are any overhead power lines in the tree’s vicinity, as again, a bad storm could create a high risk of electrocution due to a lack of clear overhead between trees and power lines.
If a tree has a problem branch but looks healthy overall, a tree lopping professional will be able to remove the branch in question and prune the tree into a safer and pleasing shape.
Check the tree’s leaves, branches, and bark
Just like humans and animals, trees can bear symptoms of their health externally. If a tree is sick or diseased, it’ll require the care and expertise of a highly trained professional. One symptom of an unhealthy tree is the loss of leaves beyond what’s to be expected on a day to day level. Other symptoms include the growth of strange bumps or fungus. These are easy to monitor for, so make sure you’re familiar with your trees in their healthy state. Early detection can be key in being able to save and restore a diseased tree to its healthy state, but this can only be achieved through regular monitoring and keeping an eye out for any differences in the tree’s appearance.
Trees which are diseased not only begin to grow less attractive visually but are also weakened at a structural level, therefore becoming a hazard. A tree without a strong and reliable trunk is a high risk to your home, your family and even the general public, as the chance, it has of falling and causing injury to anything in its path greatly increases as the structure deteriorates.
Symptoms of an unhealthy tree include…
The top of the tree is withering – as the top of the tree is furthest from the roots, and therefore its nutrients and water supply, the top of the tree can often be the first section to show signs of an underlying issue.
Discolouration of leaves – if a tree has leaves which are lighter than usual, yellowing, or browning, this can be an indication of an internal health problem.
Wilting foliage – trees exhibit signs of sickness including spots, pustules, and holes in leaves. Keep an eye on your tree’s normal leaf state throughout the year to be able to spot the difference if anything is to change in regards to its health.
Varying foliage density – a healthy tree will possess a generally even foliage covering. If there’s a lower concentration of foliage in certain areas, your tree may be at risk of disease or suffering already.
Sap on the bark – as sap acts as a defense mechanism for trees, its presence can be an indication of a disease within the tree’s internal structure.
Abnormal growths – Keep an eye out for new and unusual growths on the trunk, branches or twigs of your trees, as these can be an external sign of disease.
Insects – although it’s normal to see insects on trees in a natural environment, an excess of insects on a tree can be a sign of infestation. Termites, in particular, can lead to damage so destructive that tree removal is the only solution.
It’s important to let a trained professional advise you on the health and structural integrity of a tree with suspected health issues. They may be able to suggest an effective treatment to help you strengthen your tree and return it to normal health, or they’ll be able to advise you on the best way forward if it comes to tree removal.
Could your tree become a fire hazard?
A seriously overgrown tree adds great risk to a property due to its potential to go up in flames and provide a raging fire with plenty of fuel. This is especially important during the summer months or if you live in an area which experiences high summer temperatures. It’s important to apply common sense and wisdom to the trees on your property and to ensure any potential fire hazards outside of the normal spectrum are identified and dealt with.
If you have a tree which has grown in size to a level which could prove dangerous, a professional tree lopper will be able to trim, prune and reshape the tree to a more manageable, and therefore far less risky, state. This should be a high consideration for those living in the drier regions of Australia, where summers run at high temperatures, causing vegetation and trees to become ideal kindling for uncontrollable fires.
Check the tree over for defects
Any defects spotted in your tree need to be investigated by a professional. While some defects may appear small, they can easily increase the risk that the tree’s structural integrity will disintegrate enough for the tree to fall and cause great potential damage. This is important to consider from an insurance level, as many household insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by falling trees, instead classifying them as acts of nature. Make sure you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable situation due to the loss of property or damage from a falling tree. It’s much cheaper to deal with the problem before it falls on your car! This also applies to people visiting your property or passing by, so it’s in your best interest to ensure you’re taking care to manage any risks in this area.
It’s not all bad news…
Hiring a professional tree lopper will be like finding a great hairdresser: a few cuts, trims and changes here and there, and your tree will emerge looking and feeling better than ever. Tree loppers skilled in trimming and pruning will be able to shape your tree in a way that improves the quality and abundance of flowers, fruit, foliage or stems. By trimming and de-budding fruit trees in their first year of flowering, the amount of fruit that follows when it flowers in following years will be increased.
The removal of dead branches also promotes new growth and development, allowing your tree to grow from a stronger core and develop better branches. This is important in increasing a tree’s natural lifespan and allowing its full potential to grow in the best manner possible.
Tree pruning is necessary to keep trees healthy but requires the work of a professional to avoid any damage or underlying weakening of the tree. By pruning your trees, you’ll also see more sunlight is able to filter through to assist with the growth in plants, shrubs and ground cover, therefore increasing their health as well.
If you do find yourself in need of a full tree removal procedure, a true professional tree lopping company will also offer stump grinding and branch removal from the area after they have completed the removal. Stump grinding and chipping branches for wood chips results in a mulch which can be used for composting and soil regeneration. This is a great method to recycle your tree waste and see the dead or diseased tree give life to new and growing plants. A good tree lopping company will offer to either remove the wood chips from the property or leave them there for you to use yourself.
If you’ve got existing gardens, make the most of this side benefit and apply the wood chip mulch to your established garden beds. This will help them retain moisture and is also great for weed control. A good layer of mulch also assists in moderating the temperature around trees, plants and garden beds, by preventing the topsoil from overheating and consequently drying out. Mulch enriches the soil and works to maintain good drainage structure as it decomposes. It’s a great way to eliminate waste during the tree lopping process and to see the cut-offs and branches turned into something of use.
Different types of mulch serve different purposes depending on the type of garden, and an experienced tree lopper will be able to advise you on the sustainability of the mulch which results from your tree removal.
So, if you find yourself in need of someone to assist with your tree lopping needs – do your research, evaluate your individual tree requirements, and have a chat with a professional about the work which is required. You’ll find your trees will thank you for your efforts.