No one wants to be surprised by a tree that comes down without warning, potentially wreaking thousands of dollars’ worth of damage on your and others’ property. Not to mention the threat of personal injury.

This list will give you some of the main danger signs to look for in trees around your home.

1. Your tree starts losing branches.

It’s normal for trees to lose branches in bad weather. But if you detect branches coming down for no reason, you will need to call in some expert help.

Often, in these cases decay will be found where the branch has broken off. This could mean that there is further decay deep within the tree and the only safe option is for the tree to be removed.

2. Your tree suddenly starts to lean.

Your tree suddenly starts to lean

If your tree suddenly starts to lean, or leans at an exaggerated angle, you will need to call in the experts.

It will indicate that the tree is going to fall down sooner or later — and it’s better to have it removed before it gets the chance to surprise you.

For safety’s sake, be sure to keep people and pets away from the area until you’ve had the tree assessed by an arborist.

3. Your tree displays a large cavity.

If your tree has developed a large cavity, chances are it is in trouble. It could mean that fungi has found its way inside and is eating away at the structure of the tree.

While trees can sometimes halt the damage themselves, it’s essential that you get an expert in to find out if the safest option would be for the tree to be removed.

4. Your tree has more than one trunk.

Your tree has more than one trunk

If your tree has split into many trunks, they won’t be robust enough to support its weight. Left untreated, it could fall down at any time.

In this case you need an expert to come and examine your tree. They may be able to support it with special braces, or it may be safer overall to remove the tree.

5. Your tree has fungi growing underneath.

Fungi growing at the base of a tree is usually a clear warning sign. While some fungi may be harmless to your tree, there will be others that can damage its roots and therefore its stability.

It’s best to get in touch with an expert who can advise you on which course of action to take.

6. Your tree’s neighbours have fallen down.

If you have a group of trees in your yard and one has come down, those that remain may now be vulnerable. It could be that there are destructive insects or fungi underground that are threatening the roots of all trees in the area.

Remaining trees could also now be exposed to the elements and could be unsafe in strong winds, for example.

For peace of mind, call a professional to assess the situation and offer a safe solution.

Without a doubt, falling trees represent a risk to property and people. Fortunately, you can avoid the dangers that come with unstable trees by being vigilant of the danger signs and calling in an arborist for help and advice.