Summer weather means pop-up thunderstorms that move quickly, producing high winds, rain, hail, and even tornado warnings. In advance of this type of weather, it’s important to determine if there are any high-risk trees in proximity of your home or valuables that could be damaged if the tree splits or a limb breaks.  

Assessing whether a tree has damaged limbs that are prone to breaking during a thunderstorm requires careful observation and consideration. Here are some signs to look for: 

Cracks or Splits: Inspect the tree for visible cracks or splits in the branches. These can weaken the structural integrity of the limb, making it more susceptible to breaking under the stress of high winds. 

Dead or Dying Branches: Dead or dying branches are more brittle and prone to breakage. Look for branches that lack leaves, have brown or discolored foliage, or exhibit no signs of new growth. These branches should be evaluated and potentially pruned to prevent them from breaking and causing damage. 

Leaning or Unbalanced Growth: If a tree has limbs that are significantly leaning or growing in a manner that creates an unbalanced structure, it increases the risk of limb failure during a storm. Such limbs may be under stress and more likely to snap under high winds. 

Weak or V-Shaped Crotches: Assess the points where branches connect to the tree trunk, known as crotches. Weak or V-shaped crotches, where branches grow too closely together, can be structurally weaker than U-shaped crotches. These weak crotches are prone to splitting and limb failure during storms. 

Signs of Decay or Disease: Look for signs of decay or disease in the tree, such as fungal growth, cavities, or significant trunk or limb damage. These issues can compromise the strength of the branches and increase the risk of breakage. 

Hanging or Broken Limbs: Evaluate the tree for any hanging or partially broken limbs that are at risk of falling. These limbs should be safely removed by a professional arborist to prevent them from causing harm during a storm. 

Excessive Canopy Weight: If the tree has an abundance of foliage or clusters of heavy branches, it can create an excessive weight load that increases the chances of limb failure during a storm. Thinning the canopy through selective pruning can reduce the risk. 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s recommended to consult with a certified arborist or tree care professional. They can assess the tree’s condition, identify potential hazards, and provide appropriate recommendations for pruning or tree care to mitigate the risk of limb failure during a thunderstorm. 

Our experienced arborists at Manor Tree Service would be delighted to assist you with a complimentary tree assessment. We can look at any potentially high-risk trees and advise you on the best approach to managing these trees. Solutions can range from tree removal, trimming, thinning, cabling, or simply monitoring the tree. Working out of our headquarters in Glen Arm, MD, we provide tree service to the surrounding area in eastern Baltimore County and western Harford County.