Arborist gives tips to detect decaying trees - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Arborist gives tips to detect decaying trees


People are still cleaning up following heavy storms that barreled through the area on Saturday and Sunday, bringing down power lines, limbs and in some cases, whole trees.

A certified arborist provided some tips to help prevent some of this type of damage.

One simple trick homeowners can do is using a small stick to inspect holes in the trunks of trees. Take the stick and see how deep the cavity goes, because that will tell you how much decay there may be.

Certified arborist Shannon Baughman said one of the easiest ways to check the health of your tree is to knock on it with a rubber mallet.

"Walk around the trees and thump on them," said Baughman. "If the tree has interior decay, what it's going to sound like is a bass drum."

Baughman said a health tree will sound solid and a decaying tree will most likely sound hollow, and with so many of the intense afternoon showers in the forecast this time of year, it's important that homeowners take the time to survey their trees, limbs and canopies.

"There could be a broken branch or a large dead limb up in the canopy that has a high potential of coming down on the roof of someone's car," said Baughman.

While these are measures you can take on your own, Baughman said the best thing to do is call the experts.

For aguide to detecting and preventing decaying trees, check out this guide from the National Arbor Day Foundation.

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