Trees can grow into huge structures. Unfortunately, structural problems can put any surrounding property at risk and potentially necessitate tree removal. If you have a tree close to your home, keep an eye out for these four common signs of structural problems. They could turn out to be perfectly manageable, but it's always best to know for sure.
If you notice a split where branches meet or where two trunks diverge, you should really think about having your tree inspected by a professional. A very small split might not look like much, but keep in mind that the problem is only going to grow worse over time. Changing weather conditions will put added stress on the tree, and the simple act of growing will tend to increase the problem, especially in fast-growing varieties. Professionals can sometimes use cabling to address structural issues caused by splits, but it's often better to have the tree removed.
2. Bad Crotch
If you have kids that like to sit in your tree, they probably sit in one of the crotches. This is where a branch comes away from the trunk, and it should do so at a relatively large angle to spread itself as far as possible. However, you'll sometimes see a branch jutting out at a rather acute angle. When this happens, bark can get trapped between trunk and branch. The branch will be weakened, so a large portion of the tree may fall when the branch grows too long and heavy to be supported by a weak crotch.
When you were younger, you might have called the openings sometimes seen in tree trunks 'fairy doors'. In reality, they are often signs of large internal hollows. You'll need to call in a professional to assess the problem; many small holes at the bottom of trees indicate considerable interior hollowness. This could be due to root decay, and it's an issue that could lead to structural problems as the tree continues to grow.
If your tree has developed a tilt, you really need to bring in a professional as soon as possible, and it's likely the tree will need to be removed. If a tree appears tilted, root problems are likely. If you notice a lifting of soil around the trunk, it means the tree is on its way to breaking contact with the ground below. When this is seen, tree removal is often the only option.