Trim your risk of tree damage

Trees can provide comfortable shade in the summer months, but when the weather turns severe these same branches can wreak havoc on your property. Take steps now to trim your risk of tree damage, says the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

Download the free IBHS Guide, “Reducing Tree Damage.”

Whether it’s a windstorm or wildfire, the weather outside can quickly turn overgrown trees into a source of damage for your home or business. For example, do you hear branches scratching against the house during gusty winds? Imagine how higher wind gusts could lash these same branches, possibly causing them to break and shatter windows or driving them through siding. In another scenario, branches that overhang the roof can lead a wildfire directly to the property and eventually cause your home or business to go up in flames. Trees that are decayed or damaged can easily topple over when heavy rains saturate the surrounding ground. 

If you have large trees, consult an arborist for advice on the best ways to minimize your risk of damage. Good pruning will help eliminate many problems.

Here are some IBHS guidelines for helping to determine which trees could pose a risk to your property.

Look for:

Cracks in the trunk or major limbs.
• Hollow and decayed trees.
• Trees that look one-sided or lean significantly.
• Branches hanging over the house near the roof.
• Limbs in contact with power lines.
• Mushrooms growing from the bark, indicating a decayed or weakened stem.
• V-shaped forks rather than U-shaped ones. V-shaped are more likely to split.
• Crossing branches that rub or interfere with one other.

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