What You Need to Know About Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome

September 24, 2018 5:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We’ve all seen tree limbs scattered across the ground after a heavy storm rolls through town. After all, you can’t expect every branch to stay put in heavy winds and driving rain. Have you ever seen a tree limb just suddenly fall off, though? It’s kind of scary! One moment a massive branch is sitting peacefully, providing shade, and the next it’s lying on the ground. You’ve just got to be thankful that the tree limb didn’t fall on your house or car!

Seeing a limb suddenly fall off your tree brings up a lot of questions. Why did it fall? Will other branches soon follow along the same path? Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening in the future? This post will address all of these questions and provide a little more insight into the importance of tree trimming in Mount Airy, MD.

What is sudden branch drop syndrome?

Sudden branch drop syndrome, also known as “summer limb drop” or “high-temperature limb drop,” is just what it sounds like: a phenomenon in which branches simply crack and fall off a tree on hot days. Branch drop usually occurs on steamy summer days, when there’s no breeze blowing—which makes it even stranger and more surprising that a limb would fall off! We’ve seen branch drop in many species, but the most common ones are aging sycamore, oak, elm, eucalyptus and beech trees.

Why does branch drop happen?

Perhaps the strangest part about sudden branch drop syndrome is the fact that we still don’t know exactly what causes it. Arborists theorize that dropping limbs may be a tree’s reaction to stifling weather conditions that its vascular system can’t handle anymore. The first branches to go are often the large, long branches that turn upwards at the ends. There’s no telling how many branches your tree will lose once it finds itself under duress.

Is there anything that can be done to prevent branch drop?

We don’t have any conclusive signs that indicate that a branch is about to drop, and nor do we know why it happens. For those two reasons, there’s no way we can come to the rescue and save your branches before they drop. That being said, one would assume that taking care of your trees year-round would keep your tree from stressing out and dropping branches. Doing things like watering, mulching, fertilizing and trimming should prevent branches from cracking and falling to the ground. Be sure to give us a call if you’re unable or unwilling to do any of those tasks. We’re a full-service tree care provider with years of industry experience.

Though we don’t know what causes it and we’re unable to keep it from happening, we do our best to keep your trees in as good of health as possible. If you’re nervous that one of your older, taller trees may suddenly drop a branch on your home, call Stabler Tree & Crane Services for tree trimming in Mount Airy, MD. Trimming is a mandatory aspect of tree care, and one of our specialties!

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