Why Do Trees Fall Down?

Learn about what causes trees – whether they’re healthy or unhealthy – to topple so you can spot potential problems before one falls in your yard.

Why Do Trees Fall Down?

It’s important to perform regular tree maintenance for preventative measures in order to detect any issues with roots, insects and diseases – all of which could lead to a fallen tree. While strong winds and heavy rains may seem like the main culprit of downed trees, there are actually some causes that aren’t easily noticeable such as root rot and certain tree diseases. When a tree falls in your yard there are tree removal companies that can safely cut down and haul away tree trunks, branches and debris, and they may also offer services such as stump removal and stump grinding. If a tree falls on your home or roof, contact a general contractor or a roofing contractor to help repair any damage.


Common Causes

There are a number of reasons why trees fall, even if they are completely healthy. Severe weather and strong wind can cause storm damage to your home, yard and trees, and even though they are natural causes that are out of your control, by keeping up with regular tree maintenance, you can help minimize the damage. Damaged roots and diseases are other risk factors that can lead to toppled trees, if not caught and addressed early enough.


"Windthrow" is a phenomenon that uproots a tree because the trunk acts as a lever applying force to the roots. The force increases with height and taller trees are more susceptible to windthrow. All trees are potentially at risk of toppling depending on the force of wind, rain, ice, snow or any combination of inclement weather. Trees are more likely to uproot during strong winds especially if the tree is top-heavy which can also result in tearing, splitting and limb breakage.


When roots are weak, shallow or damaged, storm damage is inevitably more likely. Compacted soil and poor drainage are both causes of root problems, which if left untreated can weaken an entire tree. If a root ball is too shallow, the tree lacks lateral support and is susceptible to uprooting and falling - even without being affected by a storm.


Detecting and treating disease is a major part of tree maintenance and different tree species—and parts of the country—experience different types of diseases. Tree diseases can be caused by insects, fungi, decay and more. If you think you have a diseased tree, contact a local arborist or tree maintenance service to get a pest and disease diagnosis.


The information and advice contained in this article is intended as a general guide for informational purposes only. It does not take into account your personal situation. While we at Resolve have significant experience and history operating in the home restoration industry and working closely with construction contractors, we are not licensed as a general or specialty contractor. We encourage you to consider the information we’ve provided but urge you not to rely upon it in place of appropriate professional advice from a licensed, experienced construction contractor.  





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