At this point in the inspection you would have already identified widow makers as a safety concern before walking under the tree and called a certified arborist but I want to explain to pay attention for these. Widow makers are broken limbs that are hung up or still hanging in the tree. Most of the time they are lodged up there pretty good however, I have heard several horror stories throughout my career of people dying or being severely injured by these killers.  Be mindful of broken off limbs because they tell the history of the tree and if it has been happening already there is a more than likely chance this will keep happening.

2.09 – SPROUT LIMBS (Epicormic Growth): 

Sprout limbs are small limbs that literally sprout up but they don’t do it for no reason. Sprout limbs are a stress indicator and they are growing in response to what could be several different things. Pruning creates wounds and that stressor causes epicormic growth to happen. Damage or infection to tree parts can cause the epicormic growth. During extreme old age a very mature tree will go through a phase called retrenchment where it’s outer most parts dwindle and die off while the tree produces more sprout limbs closer to the main trunk. This will allow a tree to extend its life span but is really just living on borrowed time. 

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