CHILI, N.Y. (WROC) — With winter right around the corner, the risk of downed trees is on the rise. Making sure the trees on your property are healthy ahead of the snow is vital to protecting both your life and your land.

“[Be] a vigilant homeowner: When you’re out putting your patio furniture away [or] you’re putting your grill away for the winter […] take 2 minutes, walk around your tree, look up look down,” said Andrew Sheridan, certified Arborist and owner of Flower City Tree. “If there’s anything that may be alarming to you give a professional certified arborist a call.”

According to Sheridan, autumn is an ideal time to examine your trees and get any necessary work out of the way.

“We’re coming into a cold dormant season where we’re not dealing with, you know, pests and fungi that can hurt the tree right now as the canopies are coming off the tree. We can give a better structural prune even for observation purposes you can see if you have any cracked branches or any canopy deficiencies,” said Sheridan. 

There are a lot of other warning signs that should be on your checklist, too. Fungus and mushrooms growing around the base of the tree can be another indicator of poor health. Changes in the shape, and colors of the leaves during the growing season from year to year or even seeing leaves fall off the tree earlier than normal can all be signs that your tree’s health is failing.

In the end, it’s important to remember: Just like with your own health, early detection is key for the health of your trees too. If something doesn’t look or feel right, call an expert, preferably before the tree is already on the ground, or worse in your house.