Time to check for tricky trees!

Everyone loves trees. They add value to a property. They enhance the outdoors with a beautiful, green, graceful aesthetic. They’re also good for shade and offer a great place for kids to play. Best of all they keep us happy and healthy, as the natural lungs of the planet!

On the flip side though, trees can be dangerous. Especially in Winter, when the days turn stormy and the wild weather blows in. So if you own a rental, and you want to keep your property and tenants safe from hazards like power line tangles, broken branches, rouge roots or even a whole tree coming down, now is the time to take action.

Inspecting your trees, and identifying potential problems early on will help reduce risk.

If you’re a DIYer, you may want to do some of the remedial work yourself (like regular pruning or trimming). However, for certain issues - and larger trees - we recommend consulting an arborist, as they are professionally trained in tree care, and have all the right gear and experience to assess, diagnose and safely trim, treat or remove any ‘tricky trees’ on your property.

What makes a tricky tree? Here’s what to look for.

1: Broken, damaged or hanging limbs: this is a definite tell-tale sign that your tree is a hazard. Binoculars may be needed to inspect the higher limbs, and any splits or cracks properly assessed to determine how severe the damage is.

2: Dead limbs: these aren’t always obvious, but they do pose a fall risk. Also, if left attached to the tree, the decay can spread to the live tissue, eventually compromising the entire structure.

3. Malformed, discoloured or peeling bark: this is potentially a sign of disease (such as a fungus), or it can indicate structural weakness, so it’s worth getting a professional to check it out.

4. A tree on a lean: Some trees do have a natural lean to them, so it may not be a concern. But if you notice the angle getting worse, it may need cabling, bracing or some sort of specialist attention.

5. Root damage: this can eventually cause an entire tree to die. Some signs of root damage include wilting, thinning foliage, under-sized leaves, dead branches or stunted growth.

6: Trees that have grown too big: trees by their very nature grow, which is why it’s important to regularly tend, trim and prune them. Failure to do so means they may grow out of control; getting tangled in power lines, blocking sunlight, overhanging houses, buildings or roads – or becoming structurally unsound.

We wish you luck with your pre-Winter tree inspection! Of course, if you need help at any time, feel free to talk to our specialist property management team. We have excellent contacts for professional arborists, and we can oversee seasonal maintenance as required. For advice or more information, just contact your nearest Barfoot & Thompson branch.