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How Far Can a Tree Lean Before It Falls?

How far can a tree lean before it falls over? This is a surprisingly common question since many homeowners have trees in their yards leaning to one side but aren't sure whether to do anything about them. There are a few considerations covered in the detailed guide below, and you can also contact Top Tier Trees for tree removal services in Marietta, GA, anytime.

An Arborist’s Advice: Examining Your Leaning Tree for Vulnerabilities and Damage

If it's safe to do so, take a closer look at the leaning tree from time to time. It’ll be easier to know when to call a certified arborist if you’ve made a few notes of any issues you notice with the bark and branches. If you notice decay local to one area of the tree, such as with wilting or brown leaves or dead branches, it’s best to call in a tree professional.

Even if you see something wrong with your trees, they might not necessarily fall over on their own. However, there could still be severe consequences if you don't take care of the leaning issue before Georgia’s strong winds or another issue takes a toll. 

In general, it’s best to call a tree care specialist like Top Tier Trees if you’re seeing one or two characteristics of poor health or a slow decline in the tree, such as:

  • Discoloration
  • Less growth
  • Bark or branch damage
  • Insect infestation
  • Animal damage
  • Splitting or rotting branches
  • Issues around the roots

While a minor slant isn't uncommon, you’re right to feel alarmed if your tree is swaying heavily to one side or the other. In that case, the tree’s support structure will eventually give out and fall.

Signs That Your Tree’s Fall Is Imminent

Don’t wait to contact a tree care professional in your area if you notice any of the following warning signs that your tree's going to topple over:

  • Vine takeover. Vines are covering your tree and compromising the roots.
  • Fungus issues. Has fungal growth entered the tree through wounds or holes? Rot, leaves changing color, and other clues of decline should alert you.
  • Soft areas on the trunk. Weak trees are more likely to fall due to a lack of stability. 
  • Widening angles. A significant lean of the trunk is a serious red flag. Get professional intervention, as the tree could fall over anytime.
  • V-shaped branches. Splitting suggests issues on the horizon. U-shaped branches are healthy.
  • Carpenter ants. Insect infestation that’s boring holes and tunnels and creating nests spells trouble for your leaning tree. 
  • Bark damage or cracks. When a tree is dying, it shows in cracks. It’s at risk of falling.
  • Dead branches. Any dead or dying branches could damage property or cause injuries to anyone in their path.
  • Multiple trunks. If you notice splitting trunks, this pressure could eventually lead to the tree snapping. Bracing and cables could stabilize the leaning tree. 

If you spot any exposed roots, take care not to damage them. Landscaping and yard equipment can cause nicks and cuts that make the entire tree vulnerable. Someone could also get hurt by tripping on the root system and falling over.

Additionally, if your tree has a large cavity or hole in the trunk, this is cause for concern. While animals and insects may use these cavities as homes, it weakens the tree’s structural stability. Some trees last a while and are fine with a strong cavity, but consulting a local tree care professional is the best way to know for certain. 

Major Factors That Can Cause a Leaning Tree To Fall Over

How far can a tree lean before it falls over? Your tree might remain stable until it reaches a 15-degree angle, but waiting until this happens is dangerous. People in the tree’s path can get seriously hurt, so call an arborist before this happens.

All it takes is a few strong winds to knock over your tree or make it lean even further to one side. If lightning strikes, it's also at risk of falling over from internal damage that will usually worsen over time. 

A tree's age and health may also impact its chances of falling. Working with an arborist for tree care maintenance and inspections will help this issue become less of a surprise. These professionals can bring tree problems of all sizes to book before they become irreversible.

The Dangers of Neglecting a Leaning Tree

Having healthy and mature trees on your property can boost its curb appeal and property value. On the other hand, leaning trees are a serious problem that no homebuyer wants to handle. Trees can do more harm than just falling; they take up a lot of room when they fall over and potentially land on cars, houses, and even people. 

A leaning tree that falls can block a street or driveway. Fallen trees also frequently contribute to expensive damage that insurance might not want to cover. Taking action ahead of time is key for safety and cost savings, so don’t delay in calling a professional like Top Tier Trees in Marietta, Georgia.

If you’re wondering about the cost of the tree care solutions you’ll find, put your mind at ease. Besides, paying for expensive damages will be far more of a commitment than proactive tree services if your leaning tree decides to fall over. Taking preventative measures and caring for your tree can prevent a disastrous (and expensive!) situation.

Let Top Tier Trees Take Care of Your Leaning Tree and More in Marietta, Georgia!

How far can a tree lean before it falls? Now that you know, you likely recognize the importance of caring for your property's trees in Marietta, Georgia, and everywhere else. As local tree care professionals, Top Tier Trees can assist you with a wide range of tree care services, tell you the average tree removal cost, and more.

Are you interested in healthier, safer trees on your property in Marietta, Georgia? Get your free estimate from Top Tier Trees today!

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    • My favorite tree service crew! I rank Top Tier high for their safety and professionalism. Did removal & stump grinding last year, and called them again for tree service this year. David shared vital info about my trees. Chaz and Erin have been great to work with. The tree svc crews work very well together on site; a pleasure to watch. I'd call them again

      -Frank Maina, GA
    • Wow, great customer service, promptly returned my calls and had Erin, a sales and customer service representative out within 2 hours. I was very happy with the quote so we wanted to get started right away. Their was an opening in their schedule and had a crew at my house all before noon on Friday. Very fast and efficient, i could not be more pleased.

      - Robin Chitwood, GA
    • Outstanding & professional work! We had 7 trees removed & the crew did an excellent job from start to finish. They even trimmed a few branches that needed trimming. Clean-up was great. The crew introduced themselves & engaged with us throughout the job.

      -Jean B.Marietta, GA
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