Tree Care Basics: A Starter Guide

Tree Care Basics: A Starter Guide

Branch Drop And Trees

Johnni Knight

Branch drop can plague landscape trees. Knowing the dangers as well as whether or not to remove the tree is a vital safety concern.


Branch drop doesn't stem from a single problem, but it is often symptomatic of multiple issues in the tree. Overgrown and poorly pruned trees may drop branches due to overcrowding and rubbing branches. A lot of deadwood in the canopy, whether it's from disease or climate conditions, also increases the chances of branch drop.

Some trees, like cottonwoods, are prone to branch drop. They take in a lot of water quickly, and sometimes the branches become too heavy to support. Rot inside the tree, often from fungal infections, is another huge cause of branch drop, particularly that of large branches. Weakness from a poor, unbalanced growth form, such as from past damage or poor pruning practices, may cause branches to drop on the side of the tree with heavier growth.


The most obvious danger of branch drop is to anything below. Falling branches can cause injury, damage cars, or break items on the lawn. Large branches, called widowmakers, are the greatest concern because these have the ability to cause grave injury or even death if they suddenly fall. Further, falling isn't just a danger in wind, as often branch drop occurs on clear, still days.

Even a small branch drop can be a hazard, though. Falling branches can pull down more branches with them as they come down, which can further damage the tree or affect neighboring trees. Small branches also collect on the roof and gutters, where they can cause leaks or damage to the home's roofing system. The branch litter on the ground is also a hazard to pedestrians as well as to lawn care equipment.


When branch drop is caused by little more than poor pruning, the tree can usually be saved. The deadwood along with any crossed branches must be pruned out, and then the canopy of the tree is thinned to further decrease drop.

Drop from disease or pests, on the other hand, is symptomatic of a larger problem. Major damage, such as drop following a lightning strike, is also something that requires more than just pruning. In these cases, it is a safer idea to remove the tree before a large falling branch or the tree itself coming down causes major injuries or damage.

Contact a tree removal service if you are concerned about a tree that is dropping branches.


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Tree Care Basics: A Starter Guide

Proper tree care is an essential part of maintaining your property's appearance and overall well-being. After all, neglected trees can quickly become safety hazards if limbs should fall and damage your property. That's why it's important that you know how to take care of your trees. Luckily, this site is here to help. With the information on this site, you'll be able to better understand the different needs of each type of tree on your land. That way, you can tailor your tree care accordingly and you'll know when you should call a tree service for more help and ongoing care.