Am I Safe From My Trees – Part Six

2.13 – SHARP BENDS:  Sharp bends in trees are red flags. When there is a sharp change of direction of a tree limb or tree stem, that means that at some point that limb received some type of interference. That could mean that it rubbed into another smaller limb for a few years making it grow around the other limb but the other limb has now died off only leaving this unusually bent limb. Another reason maybe that a branch end got broken off and the nearest lateral limb takes over as the new branch end. The problem with these sharp bends in tree pieces parts is that the bends create oddly shaped levers susceptible to odd types of torque loads. 

2.14 – LEVERAGING FORCES:  Trees are like levers in the wind. The taller the tree, the more leverage that will be applied to the base of the tree while the tree is experiencing wind loading forces. That theory applies to whole trees from the ground up but also to smaller tree parts. Example… An oak tree looks pretty healthy but has one long limb growing over the roof of the house. Look at the limb and ask yourself, how long is that branch in comparison to the other branches? Does it have branch taper?  How is the aspect ratio of limb to trunk size relate? Does it have smaller limbs evenly spaced out especially closer to the tree trunk?  If it gets too fluffy and heavy on the end and has bad branch tapper then that limb is a bad lever in the wind and likely to break off. Consult with a professional arborist to consider a proper pruning plan.