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Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome: What Is It and What Can I Do About It?

April 26, 2023
Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome: What Is It and What Can I Do About It?
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Branches falling off trees pose a real danger to property owners, or anyone present on your property. Even a seemingly healthy tree may sometimes drop its branches, potentially causing injury or damage to property.

It’s something every business or homeowner should be aware of throughout the year, and – weirdly enough – particularly during the summer. particularly during periods of harsh weather.

The falling of branches is known as "sudden branch drop syndrome" or "summer branch drop". It’s a curious occurrence, whereby branches fall from seemingly healthy trees…

At Earth Development, our local teams of landscapers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and across the Midwest have helped businesses and property owners make their outdoor spaces as safe as possible. We also think it’s important to provide online resources to educate people about trees that shed branches – so be sure to read on and find out more about this phenomenon.

What Exactly Is Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome?

What Exactly Is Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome

Sudden branch syndrome simply refers to branches randomly falling from a healthy-looking tree. This might involve oak tree branches falling off randomly, a eucalyptus branch drop, or any other kind of healthy-looking tree.

While it’s common to expect branches to fall during storms, sudden branch syndrome is typically defined by branches falling during calm weather.

Why Do Branches Drop?

So what’s the deal with trees that shed branches? Well, it’s kind of up in the air. Experts really haven’t come up with a consensus of what exactly is happening, but many believe that it’s related to humidity levels and the release of moisture from the tree.

It would at least explain why this phenomenon tends to happen during the summer months.

Trees need to find a way to release moisture, and unlike humans and many other organisms, they can’t just sweat. That means that evapotranspiration, which is the evaporation of water within the tree, occurs through the leaves and, in extreme circumstances, through branch drops.

This would explain why branch drops can occur on extremely hot days, but there’s no telling why it might happen. All we can say is that it does!

Look Out For These Conditions

Look Out For These Conditions

There are some conditions you should look out for to prepare for sudden branch drops, which include:

  • A change in branch movement and appearance
  • Dry soil and drought
  • Noticeable tissue shrinkage on the tree
  • Hot weather for a prolonged period
  • Moisture changes in the air or soil

It’s really hard to stay on top of these conditions, but if you notice any and you have lots of trees on your property, be sure to take notice.

There are also some steps you can take to mitigate the effect of sudden branch syndrome, perhaps prevent it from happening, and make your property safer.

What Should I Do About Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome?

What Should I Do About Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome

Realistically, there’s actually very little that can be done to predict sudden branch drops. The clue is in the name! However, there are some steps you can take to stay safe.

Monitor Your Trees

It’s always wise to monitor your trees, particularly large, mature, and old trees. Take note of the branch patterns and monitor changes by taking photographs and inspecting fairly regularly.

Preemptively Chop Some Branches

Some branches may be particularly dangerous, posing a threat to life or potentially damaging your property if they fall. In these cases, it may be wise to pre-emptively and safely remove some of those branches.

Carefully Position Your Outdoor Furniture

Remember – don’t place tables or benches directly underneath large branches. This will at least protect you, your guests, or your customers in the event that a branch snaps.

Enlists Local Tree Specialists to Keep You, Your Customers and Your Guests Safe

Earth Development’s teams of tree specialists are available across the Midwest, helping businesses and homeowners alike.

If you’d like to learn more about our tree maintenance services, how we can help keep your property safe from sudden summer limb drop, call for a consultation and free quote today at (920) 406-7501!

Eddy Zakes
Eddy is a distinguished expert in the snow removal and landscaping industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. As an Advanced Snow Manager certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA), he is dedicated to upholding the highest industry standards. His strong commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of improvement makes him a trusted voice in the snow removal and landscaping.
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