3 Scenarios when the trees on your property may be harmful

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Although trees are beautiful to look at and a vital source of oxygen, there are a few scenarios when it is best to have trees removed from your property. Specifically, you should ask an arborist to remove trees from your property that are poisonous, dying or infested with trunk rot. Young children who enjoy experimenting by tasting new things are particularly vulnerable to poisoning from toxic trees.

Trees can be removed with very little disturbance to you or surrounding properties. A technique called lopping is used to remove large side branches before the trunk is cut down one section at a time. Stumps can be removed using a grinder or a chemical stump remover, which causes them to decompose within a few weeks. Here’s an overview of three scenarios when the trees on your property may be harmful.

1. Poisonous Species
Some trees commonly found around Australia are known to be poisonous to humans, and these include yew, horse chestnut and eucalyptus trees. The leaves, flowers, bark and seeds inside the berries of yew trees contain a powerful toxic alkaloid known as taxine, which can cause breathing problems and cardiac arrest. Yew trees can be identified by their unique red berries, which remain open at the end, and the bark has striking red hues.

The leaves and chestnuts from horse chestnut trees are poisonous. The chestnuts look very similar to sweet chestnuts, but they cause a temporary decline in coordination, vomiting and diarrhoea when ingested. Horse chestnut trees can be identified by their broad leaves, which have five leaflets to each main stem.

If any part of the eucalyptus tree is consumed, gastric upset will occur, and this can quickly lead to dehydration in children. Eucalyptus trees can be identified by their flowers, which have no petals. Instead, the flowers have several pink or white stamens. Additionally, eucalyptus trees have flaky bark with grey undertones.

2. Trees That Are Dying
The branches of trees that are dying break off easily, which can cause injury, and these trees also attract pests. Rats build nests in hollow, dying trees. Rats can damage your property, and they can also transmit leptospirosis to people. Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial infection that can be picked up through contact with an infected rat’s urine and can cause vomiting, fever, muscle pain and organ damage.

Termites eat wood and are attracted to decomposing trees, as they thrive in damp conditions. Although termites don’t carry any diseases transmittable to humans, they can sting or bite if pestered. Young children are often attracted to these fast-moving insects, and they may even try eating a few.

3. Trees With Internal Trunk Rot
If a tree trunk has internal rot, mushrooms will grow on the outside of the trunk. The decomposing wood can cause several types of fungi to grow, and some varieties are poisonous to humans. The specific symptoms experienced as a result of eating poisonous mushrooms depends on the type of mushroom consumed, but vomiting, stomach cramps and fever are common.

If you have trees with vertical cracks around the trunk, have them removed before mushrooms begin to grow, as mushrooms can be difficult to eradicate and they quickly spread to other parts of your property, including your lawn.

If you have trees on your property you can’t confidently identify or if you’re unsure what condition your trees are in, one of our experienced arborists can visit your property and assess your trees. They will identify potential risks and provide advice and guidance on how to best manage unhealthy or dangerous trees. Once you remove these trees, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about harmful plants.

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