Your lawn should represent a peaceful and enjoyable green space that frames your home and presents an opportunity to relax in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, unless you take the proper preventative steps, it can also be an area where threats arise. Dying and damaged trees may come crashing down in stormy conditions, leaving you scrambling to complete costly repairs.

The best way to prevent damage is to engage in regular prevention, and keeping an eye on the trees in your yard is an important step in that process. Most trees display clear warning signs of potential damage before a break and fall occurs, so if you’re educated on those warning signs, you can stay ahead of the curve.

Below, you’ll find a guide to some symptoms that your trees are likely to display before they suffer catastrophic damage so that you can act to protect your home.

Barren Limbs

While the biggest risk to your home might come from tree damage that occurs during a storm, severely damaged trees might even break apart in a calm breeze. If heavy branches have been dead for a long time, it’s possible that their internal structure is so damaged that a minimal force in exactly the right area could be enough to knock them free and on to objects below.

Once the weather turns warm and your trees start to flower, it’s important to keep an eye out for any branches that don’t appear to be sprouting new leaves. These branches are likely to grow long, thin, and dark, and they may be the most likely to hang over your roof.

A tree branch without any vegetation is likely one with a lot of internal damage. Calling a tree service to trim back those branches is an important task to complete if you want to guarantee that you can dodge damage.

Cracked Soil

Sometimes, the biggest warning signs of pending doom are not in a tree but in the ground surrounding it. If the root base becomes loose or unsettled, an entire tree may be at risk of toppling. Obviously, this can create a much more serious situation than merely shedding limbs, and might also represent a much more challenging cleanup.

If you notice new or unexpected cracks in the ground surrounding the roots of a tree, it can be a sign that subterranean shifting has begun to occur. Your trees might be at particular risk of this following periods of heavy rain, as wet soil can become loose soil and then dry and crack unevenly. These root conditions may be salvageable, but it’s also possible that your tree service might determine the risk is far too great.

Splitting Trunk

The heart of a tree is its trunk. It represents a strong and stable base, and a healthy tree might be the very definition of an immovable object. However, the trunk should be one consistently strong piece. If it begins to splinter, it’s likely a sign of serious internal damage.

That damage may have a variety of sources. An infestation of insects, for example, can be attracted to the soft wood at the core of a tree and eat their way out. Disease, bacteria, or fungus may grow on a tree and threaten its structural integrity. Strong environmental forces may cause the trunk to bend or break.

Whatever the cause, a tree with a split trunk is a tree with a very limited life span. The professionals at Smitty’s Tree Service Inc. will be able to diagnose that damage and safely remove the tree so you don’t have to deal with the hassle that comes with a sudden collapse.