Tag: branches

Why did my Tree Branch Break?

brokenbranchHave you ever come outside and seen a branch laying on the ground or perhaps heard a loud crack and fall? A branch can crack and break anytime wind, snow, ice or just gravity puts more pressure on it than it can handle. Branches grow to withstand a certain amount of these forces but they also can develop weak spots, called defects, around which they can break easier than normal. Holes, clustered branches, inclusions, and cankers caused by infection are some examples of weak areas in a tree.
A branch can also break on a hot, dry day due to a moisture imbalance within the wood which causes the wood fibers to separate. This is called “summer branch drop” and it’s still not fully understood by tree experts.
Lastly, wood strength varies greatly by species. For example, White Pines are naturally more prone to breaking under high storm winds than Oaks. And certain trees are prone to developing defects such as the Bradford Pear which develops multiple branches originating from one spot on the trunk.
If you have a tree that has a break or crack and it is concerning to you, it’s best to have an arborist check it out in a Hazard Inspection.

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Tag: branches

Dead Branches in your Trees

IMG_3967Dead branches are a natural phenomenon and provide habitat and food for many creatures such as birds, bats, insects and fungi. So why would you have these pruned out?

Well primarily because they are dead, they become dry and brittle and have a tendency to break off in strong winds. Especially the winds of our Nor’easters in the NorthEast. Also dead stubs and branches can be entryways for fungi and bacteria to enter live healthy wood at the attachment points and spread to other parts of the tree.This is especially a concern if the tree has an aggressive or infectious pest attacking it and/or trees nearby. Lastly, on some species, pruning out dead also will greatly enhance a tidy appearance of your trees, giving them a less ragged and messy appearance.

When weighing whether or not to spend the money to have them pruned out, some Q’s to ask yourself are;

  • Is there property or people below that could get hit by these branches? Further, if there is a walkway, how often is it used? e.g. what is the risk level?
  • What is the cost of trimming vs. the cost or repairing a fence or shed?
  • Is the branch of a large enough size to cause damage if it were to break?
  • How important is the health and appearance of this tree to you?