Hanging Broken Branches

There is a reason that hanging broken branches are sometimes called “widow makers”.  Branches that have broken either partially or completely from large trees and continue to hang suspended on trees or overhead wires for weeks on end are serious hazards.  As they dry and die, the odds of their falling on passersby traveling on roadways and sidewalks, or in parking lots and parks increase dramatically. Falling branches are capable of seriously damaging parked cars, sheds, fences, play equipment, and pools in residential landscapes. They can also cripple or kill a pet or a human being.

After a storm, many of these “hangers” are visible in trees and wires throughout Marple, especially after the leaves drop in the fall. Part of the collateral damage from either winter snowstorms or warm season wind/rainstorms, these branches become brittle and need to be removed. For safety, the Marple Tree Commission recommends that homeowners contact a tree service to remove any hangers in tall trees on their property, rather than attempt to do the job themselves. Experienced arborists will also properly cut the ragged wound where the branch broke from the tree to promote healing and prevent interior rot over time.

To prevent future hanging branch problems, have your large trees examined by a certified arborist every three years or so. He will identify any potentially weak or rubbing branches and correct these situations with skilled pruning before they become problems. In fact, ongoing professional pruning every few years as trees mature will assure that they withstand future severe weather incidents successfully.