Failing Tree Limb Causes Tree Hazards in Atlanta

If you have taken a drive around any leafy neighborhood in Georgia after a storm you have seen tree limbs, of various sizes, scattered throughout the area. This may leave you wondering as to why some seemingly healthy, leafy branches bend in storm conditions and why others break and fall. Here are some of the most common reasons why leafy branches can fall in extreme weather conditions and what you need to do to prevent them creating tree hazards in Atlanta.


Strong and Weak Unions


The unions which form that join growing branches are categorized as being strong or weak. A strong union has branch bark which has been upturned at the branch junctions. Rings of wood will form annually from the branch. These join with rings of wood growing from the stem to create the formation of a strong union anchored into the center of the tree. This means the branch is more prone to bend in strong winds or other weather conditions.


Weak branches appear when a branch and stem grow closely together and bark forms between them on the inside of the tree. The term for this bark which forms inside of the tree in these situations is referred to as “included bark”. As more of this bark grows, a weakened union is formed and is more susceptible to failing. Studies have shown that over 20% of all landscaped trees which break in windstorms are due to a weak union and create tree hazards in Atlanta.

Water Sprouts

tree hazards in AtlantaEnvironmental stresses or an injury to a tree can cause the formation of a water sprout, or epicormic branches.  These are new branches which have formed to replace declining or injured branches. They are usually formed on the stems and branches of topped trees. When water sprouts form on decaying branches it can create a weak union which will not result in successful or proper regrowth.

These water sprouts create weak unions which can withstand extreme weather conditions because they are shallowly attached. They are unlike strong, healthier unions which are attached at the center of the stem. Water sprouts grow quickly, which causes them to become too heavy, too fast. This results in branches that lose their connection to the main branch when force is applied to them. The under lying wood is unable to support the additional weight under the stress of high winds and various severe weather conditions creating tree hazards in Atlanta.

Sometimes ridges of bark will form around the sides of a branch with a weakened union. This is the tree attempting to stabilize the union. If a crack forms between the ridges of the growth, it can fall. The branch can also become weakened if the union is cankered, cracked or decayed. These are all conditions which are likely to occur with this type of growth.

Professional Help

Prior to harsh weather moving in, it is a good idea to call a professional tree company for help with tree hazards in Atlanta. Professionals, like those at Atlanta Tree Arbors, can evaluate your trees and let you know what needs to be done to protect your property as well as the trees on your property. You can call today to schedule an appointment with one of the professional arborists on staff today at 678-887-6568.

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