Uproot the Risk: 8 Tell-Tale Signs a Tree Must Go

Trees are often considered a beautiful addition to any property, but they can also pose a significant risk if they are not properly maintained. A tree that is dying, diseased, or damaged can cause serious harm to people and property. 

Identifying the signs that a tree needs to be removed as soon as possible can help prevent accidents and damage. Here are some of the ones worth your attention:

1. Leaning Tree

A leaning tree is a clear indication that something is wrong. If a tree leans more than 15 degrees from its vertical position, it is likely unstable and needs to be removed. The tree’s weight, combined with the impact of strong winds or storms, can lead to the tree falling over, posing a significant risk to people and property.

2. Dead or Dying Tree

Dead trees can fall without warning, damaging anything in their path. Dying trees can also fall when the damage is severe enough. Signs of a dying tree include brittle bark, lack of leaves, and branches that are falling off. A dead tree can also attract pests like termites and other insects that can cause further damage to your property.

3. Multiple Trunks

Trees with multiple trunks are often considered unstable and pose a higher risk of falling. The trunks can grow in different directions and cause stress on the tree, making it more vulnerable to strong winds and storms. If you have a tree with multiple trunks, contact a tree service for an inspection to ensure its stability and safety.

4. Cracks or Splits

If you notice cracks or splits in the tree’s trunk, it could signify structural weakness. These cracks can occur due to various reasons, such as weather damage, pests or diseases, or poor pruning techniques. If left unattended, the tree may fall or break apart, causing damage to property and risking the safety of people nearby.

5. Fungal Growth

One of the signs of decay in a tree is the presence of fungal growth. Fungi thrive on dead or decaying wood; if you notice mushrooms or other types of fungus growing around the tree’s base or on its trunk, it could be a sign that the tree is in decline. Fungal growth can weaken the tree’s structural integrity and make it more susceptible to falling or breaking apart.

6. Hollow Trunk

A tree with a hollow trunk clearly indicates that it is in a state of decay. Various factors, such as fungal infections, insect infestations, or physical damage to the tree, can cause an open trunk. A hollow trunk weakens the tree’s structural integrity and makes it more susceptible to breaking or falling due to strong winds or storms. 

7. Overhanging Branches

If branches are overhanging into your property or over sidewalks, roads, or power lines, it may be a sign that the tree needs pruning or trimming. Overhanging branches can pose a safety hazard, especially during storms or high winds. They can also cause property damage or interfere with power lines, leading to power outages.

8. Proximity to Property

In some cases, trees that are too close to buildings or other structures can risk property and people. If a tree falls or branches break off, they could damage roofs and windows or even cause injury. Regularly inspect trees close to buildings or other structures and consider trimming or removing them if they pose a risk.


Regular tree maintenance can ensure the safety of people and buildings, as well as the health of the tree itself. By keeping an eye out for signs of potential hazards, such as cracks, decay, or overhanging branches, homeowners can take the necessary steps to prevent accidents and damage. Hiring a tree service to assess and maintain trees regularly can help prevent future problems and prolong the life of your trees.

If you are looking for a reliable tree service in Birmingham, AL, look no further than Eastern Tree & Construction. Our skilled tree experts are well-versed in tree trimming, pruning, and removal. Request a free estimate to get started!

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