Widowmakers are branches around trees that look dead or broken. These fractured branches are usually light-coloured and are difficult to spot, especially in a broad canopy. That’s why it can cause accidents and deaths of loggers and tree fellers, hence the name.
One of the most notorious widowmaker trees in Australia is the Eucalyptus or Gum tree. This tree species can reach a height of up to 40 metres or more, which makes the impact of free-falling branches even more dangerous to people and properties.
Why Gum Trees Lose Their Branches
Gum trees are known to break their branches during drought or when there’s insufficient water supply. Severing tree limbs is their mechanism to conserve water and keep themselves healthy – they break off insignificant parts to save the whole tree.
In Sydney, the growing urbanisation has intensified the prevalence of accidents caused by widowmaker trees. Houses, buildings, roads, and other construction makes water hardly accessible to gum trees in suburban areas. They also hinder the trees from rooting deeply and destroy existing roots. Moreover, other plants and vegetation offer competition to Eucalyptus trees for water. As a result, the tree species has no choice but to cut off its branches to preserve its overall health.
Fungal diseases and stress may also cause widowmaker branches. These factors compromise the health of trees and make the parts brittle and easier to break.
Dangers of Widowmaker Trees
Damage to Properties
Any massive object that falls from a height of 40 metres can incur significant damage and injury to anyone and anything below the tree. Separate branches may suddenly fall when the wind blows or during tree-cutting and pruning activities—equipment, houses, cars, and other things where widowmaker branches land may suffer irreparable damages.
Injuries and Deaths
Accidents may also occur if these broken tree parts fall on people. You’re lucky if you only incur minor injuries but seldom does it happen that victims of widowmaker trees survive. That’s why it’s called widowmaker because it can create widows out of tree fellers’ wives.
Tree limbs are hard and dense. Some even have sharp parts that could wound and cut the skin. The height of the fall is also a factor that amplifies the impact.
Safety around Widowmaker Trees
Working on widowmaker trees is a dangerous game. More dangers are present when widowmaker trees gather in an area. These trees create a thick and massive canopy where broken and loosely attached branches are hard to spot.
Hence, you must practice the utmost precautions and safety measures when going near them.
- Avoid sleeping or camping right under tall and bushy trees.
- Be vigilant of your surroundings. Always be on the lookout for light-coloured and dead branches.
- Avoid dead and frail-looking-looking trees. Trees with fungal diseases and compromised immune systems are also at high risk of having widowmaker branches.
- If possible, choose a safer route with no thick canopy above.
- Beware when it’s snowing or windy. These weather conditions can hasten the falling of dislodged tree limbs.
- Contact tree experts immediately if you notice any widowmaker branches in your yard. Avoid going near the widowmaker tree.
How to Handle Widowmaker Trees
The best way to deal with widowmaker trees is to avoid them if you’re untrained and unskilled in tree felling, cutting, and pruning. You’re only putting yourself in danger. Contact professional tree loggers to do the job for you. They are experts in the field and know the how-tos when it comes to working on hazardous widowmakers.
Trees Down Under can handle all widowmaker trees’ dangers and hard work. With the right tools and equipment, our team of experts aims to keep your yard safe and free from any detached or broken branches that can harm your family. We also have protective gear so that we can provide our services safely.
Trees Down Under is one of the most reliable tree removal company in Sydney. Our careful, systematic, and efficient tree removal services ensure safety. We also offer tree pruning and trimming to keep them in mint condition and prevent accidents caused by broken tree limbs.
Need emergency tree removal services? Contact us anytime at 0475 463 597, and we’ll respond quickly.