Question: I have a few older trees and I am concerned that they may not be safe. What should I do?
Answer: Winter is a good time for safety inspections of older trees. Trees with decay or other obvious problems and those in potentially dangerous locations should be inspected by a professional arborist. You can find arborists in your area who are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture and clicking on Find an Arborist.
If you do you own visual inspection start at the top or bottom of the tree and work carefully to the other end.
Look for signs of trouble such as:
Limbs that Cross and Rub
Gouges or Unnaturally Loose or Peeling Bark
Bare branches at this time of year make it easier to spot problems. Winter is also an excellent time to contact a tree care company to do any corrective pruning that will make your tree safer. Most companies are less busy at this time of year, and in colder climates the frozen soil will help prevent soil compaction by workers or vehicles. Then, too, insects and diseases are less likely to be attracted to branch cuts during dormancy.