It takes years for trees to regenerate these fine root hairs … and when the leaves pop out this spring any little bit of wind is going to be even worse.
Q: What are warning signs that homeowners can look for to call an arborist or tree removal company?
A: We’ve found about two-thirds of trees do have visible defects that can be spotted, but it really requires a knowledgeable eye to determine the extent of the damage. (Signs) might be in the form of cankers like ulcers on the trunks. Look for base damage, decay, mushrooms and you can occasionally get some of the black fungus showing up (on visible roots) that is indicative of root rot.
First, look at trees that could fall on something that is valuable to you. A tree in the woods is not a high priority. Trees that could reach your house or your car are different. One thing to look for is any kind of visible defect. You don’t have to be educated to look at the trunk of a tree and know it just doesn’t look right. Mushrooms growing are always a sign of wood decay. If you have mushrooms at the base of a tree or on a tree, that is a huge red flag. Look at the bark. If it looks like something is missing from the bark, it could be indicative of a canker. If a tree just doesn’t look right, chances are there is a defect.
Q: Is it is too late for a homeowner to save a tree at that stage, or are there things they can do?
A: Yes, but a key is to determine the extent of the trouble. A lot of times many old trees have pockets of decay. It’s not necessarily a show stopper. It is just a red flag to look further… and risk is subjective. For one person any amount of risk is scary and is keeping you awake at night. For another, because a tree is 200 years old, they are willing to accept a little more risk. (An arborist can help determine if a tree needs to stay or go.)
If you have root rot or if you have a situation where drought has damaged the roots, that is an example of where a tree has to come out.