Why Do Trees Fall? Know the Causes

why do trees fall

Our beloved trees provide many benefits besides boosting our homes’ curb appeal. Trees provide shade, help lower energy bills, and even provide the occasional fruits. However, many homeowners may also wonder, “Why do trees fall?” 

Sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint the culprit, such as some strong winds, a sick tree, a hurricane or storm, etc. However, sometimes a seemingly healthy tree will suddenly fall without explanation. We’ll explore the common causes of trees falling. 

Removing a fallen tree from the property requires Fairfax’s reliable tree removal services

Common Reasons Why Your Tree Is Falling 

We’ll first explore common reasons why do trees fall: 

Soggy Soils 

Following heavy rain, tree roots can become drenched entirely with water. Most tree roots only sit 18 to 24 inches below the ground, and too much water coupled with nasty winds can completely uproot a tree. 

Of course, sometimes homeowners also make the mistake of overwatering their trees. Too much water can trigger root rot, a fungus that eats away a tree’s roots, providing less stability, especially during powerful winds. 

Pest Infestations 

A tree acts as a tiny ecosystem home to various lifeforms. Most of this life is entirely harmless, with plenty of insects helping a tree by pollinating it. However, some insects can significantly harm a tree, including various borers, carpenter ants, and defoliating insects. 

Other pests may include woodpeckers, rodents, and various fungi or bacteria. Typically, pests don’t target healthy trees and prefer setting their sights on damaged or dying trees. However, these pests can damage a tree’s structure and stability. 

A tree with a weakened structure and stability will more likely fall over, especially during a storm. 

Weak Root Systems 

A tree doesn’t necessarily need to be overwatered or be hosting pests to have a weak root system. For example, young trees may have underdeveloped, shallow, or weak roots that haven’t fully established themselves in the ground. 

A tree can also have weakened roots following a construction project. For example, a team conducting construction projects, such as driveways, may interfere with a tree’s root system. This interference can compact your tree’s soil, smothering the tree’s precious roots. 

Improper Tree Trimming or Pruning 

It’s vital to trim or prune your trees regularly. Doing so improves your trees’ visual appearance and can even facilitate better growth. However, sometimes homeowners may over-trim, over-prune, or use the wrong equipment or methods. 

When possible, do the best thing and have professional arborists trim or prune your tree. 

Not Trimming or Pruning Your Tree

On the other hand, failing to trim or prune gives you another answer to the question, “Why do trees fall?” Trimming and pruning your tree can help establish a tree’s proper structure and eliminate dead or diseased branches. 

The Tree Species 

The tree species can also impact its likelihood of falling, with evergreen trees more likely to come down than deciduous trees. In particular, several types of pine trees are susceptible to falling. 

Signs a Tree Is About To Fall

Some signs that indicate a tree is about to fall include: 

  • A tree leans at an angle greater than 15 degrees
  • You notice hollow spots inside of your tree’s trunk 
  • You can spot several missing patches of bark
  • Your tree has many dead or dying branches 
  • Fungus is forming around your tree

For Expert Help, Call Woods Tree and Landscaping

Homeowners need the know the various reasons why a tree might fall or start to fall. While sometimes these reasons are unavoidable, preventative measures from Woods Tree and Landscaping can prevent many causes. 

To answer the question “Why do trees fall?” and how to tell if a tree is dead, call Woods Tree and Landscaping today at (703) 478-4704

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