When Weakened Trunks Go Thunk: How to Tell If Your Tree's Trunk Is Weak

Are you concerned about the strength of your tree's trunk? Are you worried that it might not be able to withstand the coming thunderstorms that are so prevalent throughout Australia between September and March? Then you would be wise to perform a self-assessment before the worst of the weather arrives.

Because trees in urban areas have little to nothing to protect them from high winds during storms, it is important that they possess strong and sturdy trunks. Before the thunderstorms roll in with the warmer weather then, check your trees' trunks for the following issues.

Trees Staked too Long Have Weak Trunks

It is common practice for tree owners to stake container-grown trees after transplanting them into their yard. This helps to keep the tree stabilized until it can grow a strong trunk and root system. However, in general, you should remove stakes after about a year. Otherwise, your tree's trunk will be much weaker than it needs to be to withstand high winds.

Like the stem of any young plant, exposure to wind helps to strengthen a tree's trunk by causing it to grow thicker and sturdier. However, if you failed to remove your tree's stakes within a year, its trunk may now be weak and unable to withstand the winds of the coming storms.

If you are unsure of just how strong your tree's trunk is, you may need the professional opinion of an arborist.

Trunks With Cracks in Them May Be Decayed

Cracks in tree trunks are usually a sign that there is decay present. Cracks form due to injury or disease that has penetrated the trunk. Although a crack might appear small, it may conceal considerable decay. Decay weakens a tree's trunk and leaves it more susceptible to falling in high winds.

Cankers Weaken Tree Trunks Considerably

If you see any depressions or areas of discolouration on your tree's trunk, you are likely looking at a canker. Cankers can either be caused by physical injury, such as that caused by a nail driven into the trunk, or by fungus, which sometimes attacks and kills the bark on trees. Although trees can recover from cankers, cankers leave them at the mercy of pests and diseases.

As a result, a canker can leave your tree's trunk weakened and unable to withstand high winds.

You May Need to Remove Trees With Weakened Trunks

Trees with weakened trunks could put you and your home in danger during a severe thunderstorm. Subsequently, you should consider hiring an arborist or tree removal specialist to remove your tree if you think its trunk won't be able to withstand high winds. Alternatively, you could have an arborist assess your tree's trunk before you take any further action.

For more information on tree felling, consult an arborist or another resource in your area.