Why Do Some Trees Fall While Others Do Not?

Imagine a big tropical storm. Trees are downed in various spots across the immediate area, but the tree in your backyard stood firm. What is it about that tree that made it hold steady? Even more importantly, will it remain standing throughout the next storm? Here are some common reasons some trees fall while others nearby do not.

Weak Roots Don’t Hold

When a tree has weak roots, it is vulnerable to falling. Weak roots are typically the fault of shallow, new, or rotted roots. Other times, roots are damaged by construction. There are a few ways to check for each type of weak root. Ask these questions to determine the strength of your tree’s roots:

  1. Was the tree planted in compacted, hard soil?
  2. Is the tree young?
  3. Does too much moisture remain around the roots regularly?
  4. Has there been recent construction near the tree?

Shallow Roots are More than Just Weak

Shallow roots act as a poor anchor but are more than a weak root system. These roots grow in tight soil with not enough water. Your tree can also develop short roots if it has been over-mulched. Mulching can be a great way to help your tree grow; too much mulch suffocates the roots. A good gust of wind can knock over a tree with shallow roots.

Bad Luck Happens

Sometimes a tree that appears to be perfectly healthy can fall down. It could be the result of a nasty storm or a lot of rain softening the soil. There is no way to predict which healthy trees are going to fall. It can be challenging to predict which damaged trees are going to fall. There are times fallen trees fall without any real predictable factors.

The Species Are Susceptible

There are a few tree species that are more susceptible to falling down. The most common trees known for falling include:

  1. Cedar
  2. White Pine
  3. Willow White Spruce

What about these species makes them more at risk of falling? It has to do with the soil, their height, and their canopies. Cedar, white pine and willow white spruce trees tend to live in wetter soils. They are also tall trees with large canopies. Considering the size of the tree’s base with its canopy at its higher parts, it is not surprising that they often fall in windy conditions.

No Guarantee

There is no guarantee that a tree will fall or not in a storm. However, it is essential to consider which trees you have on your property and the potential danger they impose. Be on the lookout for dangerous trees that could harm properties.

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