An exciting part of spring is watching the flowers bloom and the trees regain their beautiful leaves. However, the unpredictable spring weather creates many tree-related hazards that homeowners should be aware of.
The National Public Radio explains how quickly a tree can go from decorative to dangerous if not properly cared for or inspected.  Tree branches over-hanging a home increases the risk of moss growth and damage to shingles. Branches and leaves can clog gutters that could cause ice dams or even water to back up and leak into the home. Fallen tree limbs can take down power lines and communication lines.
In strong storms and high winds, trees are the most dangerous hazards because of the potential to fall on a house or a vehicle. It is always important to monitor the condition of a tree to determine if it is old, damaged, or weak. Tree roots can also cause destruction to underground utility lines and to the foundation of a home.  However, it is important not to harm the roots of the trees because trees with damaged roots are no longer safely anchored to the ground and present the highest risk of falling.
When planting trees, they should be placed a reasonable distance away from the home. Though it is difficult to tell where a tree might fall or how far the tree roots will spread, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If a dead or damaged tree is within falling range of a house, then its removal should be considered. At the turn of each season, try to inspect your trees for any damage or decay. Being vigilant to their hazards could help prevent a potential claim.
See the following resources for additional information on how to prevent tree damage and what to do if tree damage does occur.
“Tree Damage – Are You Insured?”
“If a Tree Falls Into Your Yard, Are You Responsible?”
 National Public Radio. “When Does a Tree Go From Decorative to Dangerous?” July, 2012
 International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. “Tree Dangers.” Nick Gromicko
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