Trees are pretty amazing things. They produce oxygen. They act as natural air conditioners, both by blocking sunlight and through evaporation. And they even absorb sound, helping to keep things quiet.
These benefits, along with countless others, are good reasons to keep the trees on your property in good condition. Looking for another one? Unhealthy trees can actually pose a great danger to your home and property, as well as to your family and other people.
With these tips from the National Arbor Day Foundation, you can help prevent tree problems—and potentially save yourself from a home insurance claim:
- Inspect trees frequently. The size, color and condition of the leaves, and the overall foliage, are good indicators of a tree̵7;s health. Hollows or disfigurement can be a warning sign, although they don’t always mean a tree is a danger. Just keep an eye on it. Dead branches are a big risk, as they can easily fall. Those that cross or rub can create weak points.
- Plant in suitable space. Put in a tree that will grow big? Do not place it near power or sewer lines, or near your home. And avoid brittle trees – their limbs are weak and more likely to break and fall. Examples include Silver Maple and Willows.
- Prune correctly. Cut outside the branch collar and prune regularly as the trees age. Do not topple a tree.
- Leave it to an expert. Once a year, have a qualified arborist carefully evaluate the trees on your property. An arborist can identify those that need to come down immediately, as well as those to watch. In particular, trees that have been topped, or that have unexpectedly lost large limbs, can cause problems. Taking down trees can be very dangerous, so leave it to a professional.
- Remember that you are responsible. Property owners are generally liable when their hazardous trees cause harm or injury to others. So keep your trees healthy, your space beautiful and your liability low!
When a tree falls, you may or may not have coverage through your homeowner’s policy for any damage it may cause. If you would like to discuss your coverage, please contact us today. It may be a good time to consider adding extra liability coverage to your insurance portfolio with an umbrella policy.