Tree Surgeon Insight

Tree Surgeon image of a storm damaged tree with broken limbsAs we have recently been on the receiving end of the first autumnal bluster weather wise, we thought it was a good time to talk about when a tree becomes a hazard and what your local tree surgeon can do to help.

There are many things that can happen to a tree that can undermine its stability and turn it from the life giving thing of beauty that it is into a potentially damaging or even deadly hazard.


Storm Damage

After high winds, always check your trees for any damage. Limbs and branches that have been damaged pose a threat. It’s best to have them removed completely and safely.

Wind resistance

How wind resistant your trees are depends on the species of the tree (some are naturally more resistant than others) as well as the age, size and health of the tree. A healthy root system is an important factor in a trees ability to withstand high winds.


The roots of trees suffer if the soil above them has become compacted, as this inhibits water distribution. Roots that have been cut undermine the stability of a tree. Roots also cause damage as they grow and can cause havoc if they start to interfere with the foundations of buildings.


Fungi – Trees can be infected by a variety of fungi (Dutch Elm Disease being by far the best known) which can lead to parts or all of the tree to rot.

Cankers, such as Nectria (target) Canker, powdery mildews and bacterium such as Fireblight.

How to treat a diseased tree depends on what type of disease it is and how well established. A diseased tree is not necessarily a tree that needs to be felled. Sometimes removing the afflicted part will stop the disease from spreading and there are many preventative measures that can be taken.

If you notice anything suspicious, it’s best to have a tree surgeon inspect your trees to ensure they are healthy or to advise on any action that needs to be taken. For tips on signs and symptoms see the Forestry Commission website


Aphids in themselves are not on the whole harmful to the life of a tree. However,because of the way they feed, they can cause the host tree to be more susceptible to canker and other infections.
The Great Spruce Bark Beetle breeds under the bark, destroys the cambium (a layer of growing tissue that produces new cells to carry water and nutrients around the tree). Thankfully there have been no outbreaks of the oak processionary moth infestation  in the north of England as this beastie both kills the tree and is harmful to humans.

Limbs and branches

Some trees need regular pruning. This is very important if the trees are at risk of interfering with electricity and telephone wires, as well as roofing, guttering and chimneys.


A tree coming to the end of its natural life will not be able to absorb the vital water and nutrients in the same way and this can lead to instability.

How your tree surgeon can help

A regular inspection by a qualified tree surgeon can save you time, money and possible heartache in the long run. We can spot the early signs of disease and assess general tree health.

Contact Totally Trees of Holmfirth if you need help with or are concerned about;

– Pests and diseases

– Tree root systems

– Storm damaged trees

– Overgrown trees and pruning

Totally Trees of Holmfirth – a service based on trust and experience