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Widow Maker - Outdoor Hazard

Outdoor Hazard: Widow Makers

Widow Makers” are massive branches or trees which drop down with deadly force.

Dead limbs and dead or dying trees are a potential danger even in the most unimaginable places. Be always aware of these hazardous features on the landscape, mainly in places you plan on building your camp.

What To Take Note Of

Here you will discover the 7 main kinds of flaws to consider:

  1. Dead trees and branches are unstable and may fall at any moment. Dead wood is usually brittle and dry, it has lost its elastic property and can’t flex in the wind anymore. In strong winds or during heavy rains. In a heavy rain, one side of a dead tree can become more soaked and heavier than the other side, causing the tree to fall.
  2. A split is a profound crack that extends from the bark to the wood. Splits show that the tree is slowly but undoubtedly failing!
  3. Fragile branch connections are spots where limbs aren’t firmly connected to the tree. A fragile connection develops when 2 or more, usually upright and with comparable size, branches grow so closely that bark develops within the connection. This particular in-grown bark doesn’t possess the structural strength of wood.
  4. Rotting trees may be susceptible to falling, however the presence of decay, alone, doesn’t prove that the tree is dangerous.
  5. Beech tree with burrs and canker, Ayrshire, Sc...
    Beech tree with burrs and canker, Ayrshire, Scotland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    A canker is an area on the trunk or branch of a tree without bark or where the bark is sunken. Cankers develop from diseases or wounds. The existence of a canker raises the probability of breaking.

  6. Trees with root weakness may fall during wind storms. They could also fall with no warning during summer due to the weight of the leaves.
  7. Trees with odd shapes are fascinating to see, but may have flawed structures. Poor structures often occurs after a period of damage from stormy weather as well as in uncommon growing conditions.

During a storm any tree can be dangerous, but any tree with one or more of these defects is particularly dangerous. Build your shelter and campfire away from these dangerous trees. Keep your trails away from these hazards. Many outdoor enthusiasts have been killed from falling trees, leaving their wives widows…