What Is A Tree Crotch And Why Should You Care?

30 December 2019
 Categories: , Blog

Most people consider tree removal to be an aesthetic choice, but there are many practical reasons to remove trees from your yard, as well. While trees are beautiful, they are also massive and potentially dangerous plants. A tree that has become structurally unsound poses a severe hazard to nearby people, homes, and vehicles. It may seem as though it is easy to recognize a tree that is unhealthy or in danger of falling, but many subtle signs are easy to miss. Although you might not be familiar with the term, a bad crotch angle is one severe problem that every homeowner should learn to recognize.

Tree Crotches Explained

A crotch is a point where two branches or the branch and the trunk of a tree meet. These formations are a normal part of tree growth, and they exist wherever a branch grows. While this particular type of formation is not a concern on its own, it is essential to note the angle of the crotch. A wide angle between branches or the branch and the trunk is usually indicative of healthy growth. With an angle of 45 degrees or more, the bark within the crotch is able to form fully, providing strength and a clear surface to allow for water drainage.

On the other hand, a narrow angle between two branches can be troublesome. When two sections of the tree grow too tightly together, the bark in between them is unable to form correctly. Not only does this misformed section reduce the strength of the tree, but it also allows water to collect. Over time, this water can further weaken the joint, ultimately leading to failure.

Why Bad Angles Can Be Disastrous

For small branches on the upper portions of a tree, bad crotch angles are usually not fatal. If the angle of a branch is particularly poor, then it is typically sufficient to prune the affected branch rather than remove the entire tree. Tight angles near the base of a tree are a much larger problem, however. A rotting crotch near the ground level of a tree can be exceptionally dangerous, as a break at this point can result in a large portion of the tree falling. Even worse, the sudden loss of structural support can cause the remainder of the trunk to collapse, as well.

Dealing With Bad Crotch Angles

If you suspect that a tree on your property is unsafe, it is vital to contact a tree removal service like Jonny's Tree & Landscaping Co., LLC immediately. Weakened trees can fall suddenly, causing severe damage or injuries. An expert in tree removal will be able to properly evaluate your tree to determine if it poses a hazard so that you can schedule a removal as soon as possible.