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How to tell if your trees are at risk of falling

If you want to know if your trees are at risk of falling, look for rot, tree wounding, or diebacks.

Tornadoes are not common in the Pacific Northwest, but trees can fall over on top of homes and cars without those high winds.

As residents of Port Orchard clean up debris, much of it is from a tree damage that shows the signs of the EF-2 tornado that swept through neighborhoods Tuesday.

“The root system is fully intact. It looks like a healthy tree,” said Apex Tree Experts Owner Daniel Folk.

Though he rarely sees trees like the downed ones in Port Orchard, Folk is an expert on trees at risk for toppling over. It doesn’t require the kind of force that storms bring.

“Typically with what we have here, we have high winds, we have winds out of the north, normally prevailing out of the south. With a good typical healthy tree, you are not going to see this, but there are situations where the crown could get saturated, and trees could just come up, especially in a situation where you’re surrounded by roads and parking lots, and there are no other trees to help keep them up,” Folk said.

Folk recommends getting a tree assessment once every three to five years. His company offers them for free.

WATCH: Drone footage of Port Orchard tornado damage

As far as warning signs that a tree may need to be removed, Folk says there are several.

“The biggest factors that play into trees coming down are rot, tree wounding from mechanical wounds or a tree got damaged, and that initiated the rotting process. There are also a couple fungus is out there and some diseases like a laminated root rot, but a lot of those can be seen beforehand,” Folk said.

“The biggest thing is to look for damage. I look for diebacks. You can look to the top and see if the top is dead or if it’s dying. Probably the biggest indicator is trees naturally prune themselves from the inside out, so when you get that dieback on the tips of the branches that is open to the sun that should be green, that’s a big indicator that there’s an issue.”

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