How to tell if your tree could be a hazard in the coming storm

Arbor Solutions, a tree service company, had crews busy working to remove trees from a property in Fresno ahead of the incoming storms.

Mike Garner, co-owner and lead certified arborist with Arbor Solutions, said the trees were hazards.

"Some (trees) already had limbs failing and the other tree appeared to be completely dead," he explained.

The trees were showing signs of decay.

"You can see these fruiting bodies on here, what this indicates is that there is a good amount of root on the inside," he said while holding a cut-up tree branch.

"(The rot) leads to a very weak limb and that limb is more than likely dead. Another system we saw was that bark was peeling right off."

While it is cutting it close to hire an arborist to look at your trees ahead of the storms, here are some tips for you to look for.

Garner explained when the ground is saturated, check your tree's root system.

"Get out near the base of the tree, stand on the root plate. If it feels spongy, kind of like a trampoline, that means the roots have separated from the soil and that there is a void there. That is an indicator the tree may be leaning, ready to go," he said.

If the ground is dry, check for cracks in the soil.

If you can't see the tree's roots check for canopy dieback.

"It will be large portions of the tree that are dead or out on the tips. You'll see dead twigs or where the tree normally has foliage, there is no foliage in those areas," he said.

Garner has come across several types of trees in his career, but the type of tree he typically sees uprooted are Italian Stone Pines.

The one problem he does see is topped trees, meaning someone shortened the length of the tree. Garner explained any new growth, like branches, will be weak and this can be dangerous.

"In big wind, especially with eucalyptus that have been topped, its (branches are) weakly attached and you have a very long heavy limb, those tend to break out real easy," he said.

He explained that Bradford Pear trees can be hazardous during a wind event.

"This right here is a very tight union," he said while pointing at the tree branches. "It's going to put a lot of weight on the ends very fast and in a good wind it very well may split out. These are things that should have been addressed when the tree was younger."

Garner said redwood trees are not an optimal option to have in the Valley because they crave water.

He added homeowners can always have their current trees removed and replaced with a better option.

"Chinese Pistache do really well. Also Desert Willow is a very nice tree, Chinese Elms tend to do decently well, and Purple Plum is another good one," Garner said.
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