Structural defects occur in trees for a number of reasons, and even though a tree may be structurally compromised, it could live on for years. One example is a tree with a hollowed-out trunk. Since fluids are conducted upward in the outer rings of wood and downward in the tissue just inside the bark, a tree can be big and green yet be mostly hollow. Physiologically, this tree is still functioning, but it may not be structurally sound. One stiff wind could send it toppling.
Sometimes solving the problem a hazardous tree may pose is as simple as moving the target that makes it a hazard. For example, if a limb is in danger of splitting from a trunk and falling on the picnic table below, moving the picnic table or cabling the limb may mitigate the hazard. In other cases, a health-care program designed to increase a tree’s vigor may help it overcome minor root damage or the stress caused by insect or disease damage.
Seven reasons to call an arborist
5. Dead wood
For photos and more information on each of these conditions, continue reading.