CHESHIRE West and Chester Council has seen an increase in the number of phone calls regarding fallen tree branches even on calm, wind-free days.

This latest phenomenon is often referred to as ‘sudden branch drop’, it often happens on hot, calm days and evenings, typically in the summer during drought conditions.

According to the council, most tree specialists believe it is related to maintaining or reducing moisture levels within the tree.

Trees release water into the atmosphere through their leaves, however, calm, hot conditions limit how much moisture trees can release.

Councillor Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said: “Trees provide shade and shelter which is beneficial the majority of the time in hot weather however the unpredictable nature of this phenomenon increases the risk of using such areas.

“Our trees officers wanted to make residents aware of this phenomenon as thunderstorms are forecast for the coming days, and it is more likely to happen during or following rainfall.”

One theory on sudden branch drop is that high humidity increases the moisture content within branches, and eventually causes the heavy branch to fall from the tree.

The council employs specialist tree officers who inspect and maintain more than 28,000 trees, and inspections are carried out to ensure they are in a reasonably safe condition.

If you have any concerns about a council-owned tree, concerns can be reported using the Your Streets website.

A tree officer will carry out an inspection and undertake works where a significant safety concern is identified.