Should I be worried about my tree falling over in the wind?
Well after many months of waiting Mother Nature may finally deliver and winter may be arriving. The National Weather Service is calling for snow in the middle of the week and has issued a high wind warning for tomorrow Sunday the fifteenth. As the wind starts to blow, and the trees begin to sway, the question in many people’s minds becomes will my trees blow over in the strong winds.
Although not unheard of, trees blowing over as a result of the wind is not a very common thing and is usually associated to something else as well. One thing that can make a tree more susceptible to blowing over in the wind is if the soil that surrounds it suddenly becomes super saturated. When this happens the roots can no longer get the same holding power from the soil that it has become accustomed to, and can no longer take the wind that it usually can.
When we talk about this happening, it is not something like a hose getting left on, soil that get saturated enough for this to happen are the result of many days of heavy rain, or a burst water pipe or something of that nature. The signs will be very obvious because the soil will be soft, squishy and often mudy all around the base of the tree.
Another sign to look for when worried about a tree falling over is the lifting of the soil and roots around the tree as the tree blowing in the wind. This condition, “soil breathing” as I call it, is a tell tale sign of root failure and means that the soil that the roots are in has been separated from the soil around it and then becomes much more likely of falling. Outside of these few signs, there are not many signals that you tree might blow over, and really isn’t that likely, although not impossible. What is more likely to happen in the wind is tree failure in the canopy or worse yet a scaffold failure in major branch structure, but we’ll talk about that more in depth tomorrow.
No matter what happens, if you are concerned at all about your tree be sure to contact a certified arborist near you.