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How to Spot a Dangerous Tree: 7 Tree Hazards to Look For

A tree is generally good and beneficial. It provides shade during the hot season, a home for birds, a shield against strong winds, and adds beauty to your landscape. However, in some cases, a tree can be a danger and the hazard outweighs the benefits. A tree is hazardous when it has the potential to fall over someone or cause significant damage to property.

Tree fall is unpredictable, therefore regular tree inspection is necessary since the owner can be liable for any damage or injury caused by the falling tree. Look out for an unusual appearance, defects, poor pruning, and the overall appearance of the tree. It is the owner’s responsibility to prevent danger and reduce hazards around his property.

Since prevention is better than cure, looking out for signs will prevent any serious damage on the property and people. Here’s how to spot a dangerous tree:

1. Dead Limbs

Any dead limbs from a tree are a hazard because they could fall off anytime and injure someone. Oftentimes, you won’t notice a dead limb on your tree because not all branches will manifest the same sign. The best way to determine it is to call a tree removal expert for a proper assessment of the situation.

2. Cracked Bark

The bark of the tree is like its skin. It protects the tree from various elements and pests. It also serves as a cushion and internal temperature for the tree. A cracked bark is like an open wound, unprotected, it’s an entryway for all sorts of insects and diseases. It will slowly kill the tree leading to the death of the tree.

3. Root Damage

The root of the tree may be damaged during construction around the area but it will only show signs of damage years after the construction. The root is a vital part of a tree and any damage to the roots will only kill the tree slowly. A damaged root means its ability to absorb water is affected. Dead branches, thin leaves, and poor growth are some of the signs of root damage but you will need the help of an expert to determine the source.

4. The shape of the Crown

Irregular crown shape is a hazard when the internal structure of the tree is compromised. These uneven crowns are the result of bad pruning, weather damage, and poor growing condition. When this happens, there will be parts where the branches grow heavily and lead to uneven distribution of weight. When this happens, the tree will have poor support. Call a professional when you notice the tree leaning over one side, the presence of oversize branches, or water sprouts.

5. Cankers

If you notice a presence of missing or sunken spots on the branches or trunk, it may be a sign of cankers. A small canker outside may not reveal the extensive damage inside the tree structure and this can be dangerous. make sure your tree is evaluated when you notice the canker growing and occupying half the trunk or canker on a branch or on any damaged spots of the tree.

6. Decay

One dangerous sign is the presence of decay on the tree. You can see it visibly such as the growth of fungus or crumbling barks which indicate internal decay because the external part of the tree can still grow, masking the dead tree inside. This is particularly dangerous for bigger trees. Get it to check when you see big branches with decay, crack barks, or a thin layer of growth around the trunk.

7. Leaning Tree

There are several factors that cause a tree to lean over. To determine the cause, you will need the help of a Salt Lake City tree removal expert because they will do the necessary assessment before deciding a tree is unsafe or not. How long has the tree been leaning, is it a sudden change, and is it continually leaning over one side every day are some of the questions these experts will ask.

They will also take into consideration where the tree is leaning toward. Is it over your backyard, near the children’s area, parking space or is it away from your space? After the assessment, you may be surprised knowing that the tree does not pose a hazard and might not need to be removed.


Poor environment, weather, and construction damage, as well as pruning problem, are some of the factors that can lead to a hazardous tree. Look out for the signs of damage and call the expert to help you assess and deal with the hazardous tree as needed. Once you notice even the smallest sign of decay or changes on the tree, do not delay because it can cause serious physical and property damage. This is also a way to keep the children in your home safe from hazards.


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