How to Tell if a Tree Is Going to Fall: Eight Signs

Sometimes, a tree may fall without warning. However, most trees will show symptoms of distress before toppling over. Knowing the danger signs could prevent property damage or injury, but do you know how to tell if a tree is going to fall?

As one of Sacramento’s professional tree services, Fallen Leaf Tree shares some pointers below so that you have some warning before your tree finally gives way.

Symptoms of a Tree on the Verge of Falling

Trees can cause a lot of trouble when they fall. Monitor your tree’s overall health and stay vigilant for the following common signs of an impending tree fall:

#1 Dead or Falling Branches  

When a tree lacks sufficient nutrients to support itself, say, because of root rot, branches slowly die and fall off. It’s best to hire a professional to prune them immediately. If they fall, they could cause damage or injuries.

#2 Cracks In the Trunk  

Cracks or missing patches on a tree typically appear on a dying tree. It can quickly become a hazard, especially with further storm damage. Deep cracks compromise the trunk’s structural integrity, so don’t wait to call a certified arborist like Fallen Leaf Tree for an assessment.  

#3 Missing Bark or Deep Marks

Missing bark usually signals a dead section of the tree from an infection, surface wound, or fungus. If lightning has struck, you may notice a long streak of missing bark. You’ll also want to stay alert for deep marks, as the tree could break at that weak spot.  

#4 Leaning Trunk

While some trees naturally grow at an angle, any unusual lean bids caution. Observe the tree from various angles to see if you notice any abnormalities in growth. A lean of 15 degrees or more often points to wind or root damage, which will most likely require tree removal.  

Other Signs Around the Tree

#5 Cracked or Raised Soil  

If you look closely at where the trunk meets the ground and notice cracked or lifting soil, your tree may be uprooting and requires immediate attention. A certified arborist will help you determine whether to remove or stabilize the tree before it becomes a safety hazard.

#6 Roots Near Water  

Here’s how to tell if a tree is going to fall: it’s growing near water! Many trees growing near water bodies like lakes or ponds invariably become waterlogged. Decaying roots will struggle to keep your tree upright, so your tree could fall at any time.

Pests and Fungus

#7 Fungus on Roots 

The presence of fungus or mushrooms on or near the tree’s base may indicate root rot or a decaying trunk. Overall, fungus growth will weaken the tree, after which it will easily succumb to strong winds or inclement weather conditions.

#8 A Carpenter Ant Infestation 

Carpenter ants love to chew tunnels throughout damaged or damp wood to form nests. While they typically don’t cause tree damage, their presence indicates a problem. Ant-infested trees survive the infestation if they’re healthy, but you will need a tree expert to help you evaluate the tree’s condition overall for a final decision.

Contact Your Local Tree Experts Today!

Are you looking for a tree care company with a passion for helping trees thrive and upholding the highest industry standards? Trust Fallen Leaf Tree for professional tree care solutions across various services, including the following:

  • Tree pruning and maintenance  
  • Root crown excavation 
  • Aerial assessment  
  • Plant health care  
  • Tree planting and establishment and more

If you aren’t confident about how to tell if a tree is going to fall or if a tree is dying or dead, contact Fallen Leaf Tree at (916) 447-8733 and chat with our team in Sacramento, California!

Fallen Leaf Tree Management

Expert Tree Care in the heart of Sacramento & surrounding areas with your satisfaction guaranteed. One of our Arborists can give you a comprehensive evaluation on all the trees and shrubs in your landscape and give you a scheduled maintenance plan. Call for an arborist consultation.



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Sacramento, CA 95826

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