Dead branches or dead wood in the tree, what now?
Dead branches on a tree is a common phenomenon. A dead branch can become weak, break and fall. A small branch will not immediately cause problems when it falls down. A heavier dead branch can unfortunately cause major problems for the environment. In the worst cases, cars can be damaged or people and animals can be injured. To prevent dead branches from causing damage, you can take action yourself by pruning the tree or report it to the municipality.
How do dead branches form?
Nearly every tree suffers from dead branches. Dead wood in the tree does not always mean that the tree is sick or dying. Dead wood in the tree can be caused by damage to a branch, a lack of light or damage to the vascular system of a tree. Poor soil conditions can also be a reason, causing dead wood in the tree. Examples include conditions that are too wet or soil that is highly compacted or contaminated. Dead branches can be an ideal habitat for fungi. In the worst case, these fungi can affect the living parts of a tree.
Recognize dead branches
Dead branches are easy to spot in summer. A healthy tree has full foliage in the summer. A dead branch has brown leaves or no leaves, making a dead branch easy to detect. This becomes more difficult in the fall and winter, when the tree has lost its leaves. If you look closely, you can still see the difference between living and dead wood. If in doubt, you can scrape away a piece of the bark with pruning shears. If you see a brown color, the branch is dead. When the color is green, the branch is still alive. On some branches you see orange-red tiny balls. This infestation is also referred to as the red fungus. Menie fungus often occurs on dead wood.
Dead branches in a municipal tree
Dead branches in a municipal tree can be dangerous. The trees in public spaces are often located along roads and in parks. These are locations where many people drive their car or recreate. If you notice that a dead branch is dangerous, it is best to report this to the municipality that owns the tree. Do not prune a municipal tree yourself. There is a chance that you will do damage to the tree. This damage can be recovered by the municipality from the person causing the damage.
Report to the municipality
If you expect a dead branch to be dangerous, you can report this to the municipality. A municipal green officer assesses the seriousness of the situation and, if necessary, has the dead branch removed. If the dead branch does not cause dangerous situations, the dead branch will be removed during periodic pruning. A dead branch that will pose a danger can be reported to the municipality in various ways.
The fastest way to do this is often by phone. When you call the municipality, you will be transferred to the responsible green officer. He or she can accept the report and perhaps send an employee or an arborist who will immediately solve the problem.
Some municipalities have a form on the website on which you can submit a report. The report will be processed and you will receive a response to the report within a few days.
The BuitenBeter app is an app that can be installed on a smartphone. You can report a report to the municipalities via the app. You will be kept informed of the report by the municipality. The advantage of this app is that you can also send a photo. The green officer can then estimate the seriousness of the situation from the office.
Report to the fire brigade
If there is a direct danger to humans or animals due to a dead branch, call the fire brigade via 112. Sometimes you may have doubts as to whether there is direct danger to humans or animals. Call 112 anyway. The dispatcher at the control room can then make a professional assessment.
Dead branches in your own tree
Dead branches can also be dangerous in the garden. You can prune the trees in your own garden, provided they are not monumental trees. You can easily remove dead wood with a pole saw. You can extend a pole saw so that you can prune the dead branches from the tree from the ground. If this is not possible or you prefer to leave it to someone else, you can consider hiring a gardener, arborist or treeworker. A gardener, arborist or tree worker can safely climb trees and remove dead branches.
Dead wood is good for biodiversity
Dead wood in the tree doesn’t always have to be bad. It is good for biodiversity and provides habitat for various small animals. In addition, dead wood is an ideal habitat for mushrooms. Thousands of mushrooms depend on dead wood. These living conditions are common in forests. Most trees are not pruned in the forests, so they contain a lot of dead wood. Outside the paths, dead wood in the trees poses little danger to people.