Friday, August 5, 2016

Avoiding Property Damage & Personal Injury Due to Trees

3 Ways to Spot Hazardous Trees 

One major cause of property damage and personal injury is associated with trees, limbs and branches. Some preventative maintenance can go a long way to reduce your risk. Your favorite insurance agent at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you spot hazardous trees on your property with these tips. By removing them from your property, you can avoid the possibility of them falling on your home and causing damage or even falling on you and causing injury.

1. Look for Signs of Dead Wood. 

Dead wood can be very dangerous; it is soft and brittle, and therefore can easily bend and break in the wind or under the weight of snow or ice. Now is the time to identify dead wood and remove it before winter hits. Here are a few signs to look for:
  • Leafless branches can be a sign of dead wood. However, during the fall season, if you see leaves clinging on when they should be falling, that's also a sign that you could be dealing with some dead wood. 
  • Missing bark is also a sign of dead wood. If bark is falling off and not being replaced, leaving exposed patches of smooth, unprotected wood, chances are you're dealing with a dead tree. Healthy trees will shed bark and replace it with new bark. 
  • Fungus on your tree means that dead wood is imminent. Large wood conchs, shelf fungus, or sprouting mushrooms all indicate your tree may be hazardous. 

2. Examine Cracks and Splits on Your Trees. 

Cold weather is typically the main cause of cracks and splits in your trees. As temperatures fluctuate, the wood expands and contracts causing cracks and splits. Different types of cracks and splits can be more hazardous than other. Let's take a look at the different types of cracks and how they're a risk to you and your property:
  • Two vertical cracks on either side of a tree could be an indication of root breakage, which is very dangerous. 
  • Splits that go down into the ground can be extremely hazardous as well. The rotting inner core of a tree trunk, lightning scars, or structural weakness in general are all known to split trees in half. 
  • If you see cracks on the side of a leaning tree, especially on the side opposite of the lean, you should take action immediately before the tree falls.  

3.  Watch for Tree Borers. 

Insects that nest inside your trees, such as beetles or clear wing moths, can damage your trees to the point of breakage. There are a couple signs of tree borers you can look for:
  • The most obvious indication of a pest infestation is when tree trunks are perforated with tiny holes. Often times tree borers will create a sawdust like substance, so you can look for that as well. 
  • If you notice a strip of bark removed from the circumference of the tree, you could be experiencing tree borers. Bark provides a protective barrier and also distributes nutrients to the tree; without it, the tree can easily die over time. 

In addition to avoiding risk, it's important to make sure your Lake of the Ozarks homeowners insurance is up-to-date. Have you done any remodeling or made any additions to your home to increase its value? Make sure you update your policy as things change so you're fully covered in the event a tree falls on your house. At Insure the Lake, we'll make sure you have the best coverage at the best possible value! Give us a call today at 573-348-2794.

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 

About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral