Most people take their trees for granted. They expect them to stay upright, provide shade and look pretty—until they don’t. We’ll discuss a few of the most common tree emergencies and how you should handle them.
If a tree has fallen on your property without causing any damage to your home, cars or power lines (lucky you!) and isn’t a major eyesore, you may not need to have the tree removed. Small animals take up a home inside fallen trees and flourishing fungi helps support other natural processes.
If it doesn’t bother you, don’t bother it.
Any damage that occurs on your property at the hands (well, branches) of a fallen tree is your responsibility. Make sure that before a tree failure occurs, your homeowner’s insurance policy adequately covers your stuff.
Things can get a little muddled between neighbors and trees. Make sure you discuss tree failure possibilities with your insurance agent. In the case of a hazardous fallen tree, consult your insurance company and contact a licensed and insured tree removal service to remove it as soon as possible.
Trees or branches that fall on and damage power lines are typically the responsibility of the utility company because they pose an immediate threat to the safety of other residents. If you ever see a downed power line in Indianapolis, call Indianapolis Power and Light Co. at 317.261.8111.
Infected or Infested Tree
With the emerald ash borer turning Indiana streets into ash tree graveyards since 2004, dead, infested trees create a large demand for tree removal. Though some trees in early stages of infestation can be saved, many are past due for removal.
Consult a reputable arborist to determine if your tree is treatable or if it needs to be removed. If removal is the best course of action, do so as soon as possible. There are multiple opportunities in and around the state of Indiana for tree recycling including Indy Urban Hardwood, who construct furniture and other goods from diseased and fallen trees rather than burning or disposing of them.
Rain, heavy wind, and lightning can turn trees into hazards overnight. Broken branches and leaning trees pose a threat to people and property. After a major storm, survey the trees on your property, taking note of possible hazards. Call an emergency tree service to evaluate the need for branch or tree removal.
Uplifted Roots/Sidewalk Damage
Uplifted roots on one side of a tree are a sign that a tree is beginning to fall. A serious threat to people and property, a tree service should be called immediately to remedy the problem or remove the threatening tree.
Damage to a public sidewalk created by tree roots creates unsafe walking conditions and can be so bad that pedestrians are forced to walk on streets in traffic. Public sidewalks are the city’s responsibility. In Indianapolis, sidewalk repair requests should be made to the Mayor’s Action Center (317-327-4622). DPW personnel with inspect the damage and determine the best course of action for repair or removal of the tree.