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The sudden falling of tree branches and limbs during the summer months is commonly called “summer limb drop.” However, it is also referred to as “sudden summer branch (limb) drop.” This phenomenon is just as mysterious as it is dangerous. Unfortunately, little research has been conducted in order to answer the question “Why would mature trees suddenly and unpredictably drop branches and limbs?” Some tree service specialists in Palo Alto believe it occurs when dry, hot weather follows periods of heavy rains.

The speculation is that branches and limbs get overloaded with moisture after periods of heavy rainfall. This creates an undo amount of stress and eventually leads to them dropping off the tree. Furthermore, there are certain trees that suffer with this condition while other species do not. Some examples of the trees that are extremely susceptible to summer limb drop include beech, horse chestnut, and oak trees.

Because it has been so well documented in the past, arborists and tree service specialists are very familiar with this phenomenon. Unfortunately, the cause of summer limb drop is still unknown. However, there may be several factors that the condition is attributed to such as:

• Drought-weakened cellular structure – in summer, the increased temperature, lack of moisture, and weight of the leaves on the tree can cause branches to fail and drop

• Evapotranspiration (sometimes called transpiration) – describe the process involved with trees “sweating”

• Infection – decaying tree limbs are an open door for infection which could weaken the structure of it and eventually cause it to fall off

• Pre-existing limb defects – although this is not normally associated with sudden limb drop syndrome, any defect that is neglected or overlooked could worsen over time and result in the dropping of limbs

The best precaution that commercial and residential property owners can take is to hire a tree service in Palo Alto to inspect their trees on a regular basis. Tree care experts have the experience and expertise required to identify potential conditions such as summer limb drop and other tree health concerns. As they are experienced and understand all aspects of tree care, they will be able to assist you with your requirements.

So how do you avoid summer limb drop? Even though it isn’t overly predictable, there are certain steps that you can take in order to reduce the possibility of this occurring, provided you know how to identify the warning signs. The condition typically affects trees with larger, heavier limbs but it can also affect smaller trees. Hiring a tree care expert or arborist ensures that any potential problem will be identified.

The average DIY’er doesn’t have the knowledge and training required to spot these problems, which is why this type of work is best left in the hands of the professionals. If you have concerns regarding the trees on your property, you should contact an arborist or tree service specialist to come inspect them.