We often drive by homes with large, beautiful trees and comment on how they make the landscape look wonderful. We also all know of trees that make a home look nasty and unappealing. So we’re all aware of the aesthetic power that well maintained trees have at your home, especially when you’re thinking about home value. But a lot of people need to be more concerned about the safety aspect of trees. There are very real dangers to not maintaining your trees to you, your home, and your neighbors, all of which can become very expensive.
Let’s take a look at a few of the dangers of not maintaining your trees.
Repeated Damage to the Tree
Given the seriousness of not appropriately maintaining your trees, this one is relatively low on the priority list. Still, if you love your property and care for the trees and shrubs that you have, it should be important to you. Failing to maintain a tree for an extended period of time can result in more damage to the tree than is necessary.
Let’s say you’ve got a dead limb rather high up in the canopy. This is a fairly common occurrence. If that limb is diseased or infested with bugs or fungus, leaving that limb attached could allow the affliction to spread. If the limb is dead or damaged, that limb could fall at any time, potentially damaging the limbs under it. Further, the tree is sending energy toward that limb when it doesn’t need too, potentially weakening the entire plant.
Fines & Citation
Without a doubt, your county or city has requirements for your landscape. Generally, they aren’t overly strict, but they do require that you keep your property safe – this includes trees and shrubs. If you have a tree that is damaged, has limbs that are hanging off of it, is actively leaning on power lines or structures, or is entirely leaning, you could be cited and fined for that tree.
This may seem a bit unfair, but your municipality is looking out for everyone’s best interest. Getting these tree taken care of sooner rather than later is important too, because the fines can be as high as $1,000!
Reputation & Value of Your Neighborhood
Not a true danger in the precise definition of the word, but in the interest of being a good neighbor, you want to keep your trees well maintained because it’s better for the neighborhood if you do. Particularly think about new families that are moving into your area or neighbors selling their home. Remember, those folks moving into your neighborhood aren’t just buying the home – they’re buying the community. If your trees aren’t well maintained, then you’re decreasing the likelihood of someone purchasing a home in your neighborhood. Being a good neighbor aside, if people won’t buy homes in your neighborhood, that’s bad for your home value.
Your Home & Property
Structural damage is probably the most common form of damage caused by poorly maintained trees. Some trees, such as weeping willows, can quickly add more new growth than their limbs can handle in just a single season. All it takes is a minor storm to rip one of those branches free, which can then fall to damage your fencing, landscaping, or roof.
Injury & Death
Injury and death are one of the most serious dangers of not maintaining your trees. The plain fact is that if you do not maintain your trees, limbs, branches and debris can fall and cause damage to your property, injure other humans and even cause death. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to ensure that your trees are safe.
Maintaining your trees, particularly tall or extremely wide canopied ones are best taken care of by a professional. Ensure that you and the professional you contact understand the applicable laws of tree trimming in your area. Some localities allow you to trim branches that hang into your yard but have roots in another, for example. Most importantly, make sure you keep your trees well maintained so that you can keep up a safe, happy injury-free neighborhood.