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Tree Hazard: Sudden Branch Drop

Have branches suddenly been dropping from your large trees for no apparent reason? We’re seeing “sudden branch drop” emerge as a growing concern for homeowners in the Dallas & Fort Worth areas.

Feast or Famine

This past spring, the rains seemed endless. You might think that all that extra rain could only be a good thing for our urban trees. And while yes, we were very thankful for all the rain, too much of a good thing can have consequences. The excess water caused soil heaving around roots, nutrient deficiencies and a quick flush of heavy new growth in trees. The heavy rainfall also caused the vascular systems of many trees to expand very quickly.

ptsbranchdrop

Things Got Hot

When
summer hit, temperatures soared and the rainfall stopped. But, many
homeowners didn’t water during the heat, thinking that all the spring
rain was more than enough to take care of their trees through summer.

Unfortunately,
the sudden hot temperatures and lack of water caused vascular systems
in trees to quickly shrink. That shrinkage can weaken the branch collar
(the area where a branch meets the main tree trunk). When a branch
collar weakens and less water and nutrients are reaching a branch, it
can suddenly break and drop from the tree. To the untrained eye, there
may be no obvious external signs of pending branch drop.

Pecan trees are especially vulnerable to sudden branch drop right now due to the added weight from the developing nuts.

Reduce your risk.

Hearing a loud crack and bang on a windless summer day is scary. A large, heavy branch that falls could cause damage to your roof, car, or worse hurt someone you love. Reduce the risk of branch breakage by following these important tips:

Prune Preventative: If it’s been years since you had your trees pruned,
then you definitely want to have a certified arborist do an evaluation
for you. Spotting hazard branches, heavy overgrowth and other issues
before they fall, or before the next big storm or period of drought, can
save your tree and your property.

Water Smart: Rainfall may be
adequate in spring or fall months, but you must remember to step up
your watering of trees during the hot summer months, or during very dry
winter months. If you are watering with an irrigation system, your
trees might not be getting enough moisture. In the summer months,
supplementing irrigation specifically to your trees might be needed so
that they receive a thorough soaking. Consistent watering can prevent
conditions such as sudden branch drop. Details on proper watering HERE.

Feed Your Trees & the Soil: When trees have the nutrition
they need both from healthy soil and supplemental fertilization (when
needed), your trees will naturally be better able to withstand extreme
temperatures, storm pressure, pests and diseases. Read more about our SEASONS program.

Schedule an Annual Tree Check-up.
A tree check-up, at least once per year, performed by a certified
arborist, can help you catch and prevent disaster before it happens. A
trained arborist can identify key nutrient deficiencies, structural
problems, pest infestations, pruning issues and many other factors that
affect the health of your valuable trees. Depending on the number of
trees on your property, you may want to schedule quarterly check-ups.

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