Almstead Tree & Shrub Care Blog

Friday, November 4, 2011

Branches Caught in Trees

After a storm where branches fall from trees, it's easy to feel that everything is squared away once the debris has been cleared from the ground. An arborist will tell you, though, that what's really important is to look up. The canopies of damaged trees may still be barely holding onto snapped and hanging limbs that will eventually fall. There may also be lateral cracks in branches, stubs left by fallen limbs that open the tree up to decay if they aren't pruned correctly, and structural problems where important branches have broken off.

Here's a trick for noticing hangers (snapped branches that get caught up in the canopy of a tree rather than falling to the ground). When you look up at the canopy of a tree, look for areas that are darker than the rest. Places where there is less light filtering through are often areas where a branch has fallen and its leaves are doubling up with the leaves that are naturally in that area of the tree. See if you can spot the hanger below:

Dark, shadowy areas in the canopy are
often indicators of a hanging branch that's
snapped but still caught up in a tree.