Spotting Dangerous Trees and Limbs

Back in June 2015, Lauren Lanphear was interviewed for WOIO Channel 19 in Cleveland about steps one can take to reduce the risk of storm damage to your trees.  Recently, Rachel DePompa, On Your Side investigator with WWBT NBC12 out of Richmond, Virginia used footage and quotes from that June 2015 story to create her own story.

Spotting Dangerous Trees and Limbs

by Rachel DePompa

Tree on House.01

Fallen trees and limbs are very familiar in storms around Virginia.

Experts say you should trim your trees every two to three years. You simply need to take a good look at the trees around your yard. There are often signs that can help you figure out which ones are in danger of coming down.

Video: Spotting Dangerous Trees and Limbs

It can get dangerous, fast, but some yard work can prevent that. Lauren Lanphear, owns a tree protection business and can easily spot the signs of trees at risk.

“Look at your tree for dead branches,” Lanphear explained. “If there’s dead branches, they’re going to be more brittle. If the bark is starting to come off, that will be more brittle.”

Falling branches can cause just as much destruction as falling trees.

“When a wind blows through, branches that may be dead or structurally weak that are catching the wind can become potential hazards, breaking off, falling onto houses, cars, driveways,” Lanphear said.

Another tip, check how much room your trees have around them. Branches shouldn’t be scraping your house or touching power-lines when it’s windy.

Lanphear recommends giving power-lines 10 feet of clearance at the top, and pay attention to the shape of the tree too.

“What might surprise people, branches that come off at a narrow angle tend to be weaker,” Lanphear said. “Like a V-shaped connection tends to be weaker than trees that come straight up at 90-degrees off of a trunk.”

If a tree comes down in your yard you should call a professional for help because if that tree is touching an electrical line it could still be very dangerous.

Copyright 2015 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

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