Heavy Snow on Trees Can Cause Serious Damage, and Giroud Tree and Lawn Explains How to Identify a Dangerous Tree and Tree Service Actions Philadelphia Homeowners Can Take

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Heavy snow is a dangerous problem for trees that are dead, weak or unstable, especially when those trees are located near homes, cars or other valuable property. The ISA Certified Arborists at Giroud Tree and Lawn explain the warning signs for tree hazards and what Philadelphia homeowners should do to protect trees, remove trees that are hazards and prevent property damage.

Tree removal with bucket truck of hazardous tree that fell on a house during a storm

Hazardous trees need to be removed before storms strike especially if located near homes or other valuable property

It's important for homeowners to know if a tree over the house is a hazard.

Snow, wind and ice is a lethal combination for trees, especially if a tree is dead, decayed or structurally unstable. Giroud Tree and Lawn provides tips for identifying dangerous trees, determining when a safety inspection by an ISA Certified Arborist is needed and taking action such as tree removal if a tree is found to be hazardous.

A storm can easily topple a dead tree because it no longer has a thriving root system to keep it stable. Additionally, large dead limbs are most vulnerable to breakage in high winds. When trees and limbs fall, the damage can be costly.

"That’s why it’s important for homeowners to know if the tree hanging over the house is a hazard," says Lou Giroud, ISA Certified Arborist and President of Giroud Tree and Lawn near Philadelphia PA. “Homeowners can get a sense of whether a tree is in serious decline or already dead by doing a few basic tests.”

1.    Did the tree show signs of stress last summer? Premature fall color change, early leaf drop, abnormally small or pale leaves, or new growth that wilted are all indicators of a potential problem.
2.    Does the trunk have a cavity or signs of splitting? Scan the trunk and main leaders for holes (cavities), decay and cracked or split crotches.
3.    Is the bark peeling from the trunk? Gently pull on a piece of bark. It should not break off easily.
4.    Are twigs and buds developing normally? Scrape either a twig or bud with a thumbnail. It should be a healthy green, not brown or otherwise discolored.
5.    Is new growth surviving the strains of winter? Try to bend a twig, does it snap because it’s dry and brittle?

“If a tree is displaying any of the above warning signs, the homeowner should have an ISA Certified Arborist do a thorough evaluation and determine the best course of action,” recommends Lou Giroud. “Next steps may include tree removal, cabling weak limbs and deadwood removal.”

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Cindy Giroud
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