• James Hughes

Dead Giveaway : How to Spot a Dying Tree

First, you notice some fungus growing on your tree’s trunk. Then it looks as if the leaves are becoming more sparse. Is your tree sick? Worse yet, is it dying? These are noticeable signs that something isn’t right with your tree. But what if the signs aren’t so apparent? How do you know whether or not your trees are in trouble?

Take a Careful Look

You don’t have to be a certified arborist to know when something is wrong. But you do have to pay close attention to your trees. Get to know them. That way, you’ll notice when they are not doing well.

Here are some danger signs to look for:

Weak branches: If you notice more and more branches breaking off during storms, take a closer look. Grab a small branch or twig and pull. Does it break easily with a quick snap? Healthy tree branches bend before they break. Now, look at the broken piece. Does the wood appear green inside? That’s a good sign. Dry and dark wood could indicate that a tree is not in good condition.

Weak Spots: A tree’s trunk is sturdy and strong. Not so with a sick or dead tree. Look for holes, weak spots or rotting. These are all danger signs. Now don’t panic if you notice the tree shedding its bark. This could be completely normal. But, if new bark doesn’t grow back, then your tree could be in trouble.

Fungus: Wood conks are a common sign of disease. This fungus generally grows on dying (or dead) trees.

Leaning: It isn’t always easy to detect root damage, but a leaning tree is a good indication that its root system is under attack.

New Shoots: Are new shoots coming from the base of a tree a good sign? No! These small shoots indicate severe stress.

Why Is My Tree Dying?

The trees on your property were healthy a few months ago, so why are they suddenly showing signs of illness? There are a lot of things that can attack a healthy tree. Here are a few:

Construction/Landscape Changes: Have you thinned your tree line recently? Removing trees can expose the ones left to more sun, rain and wind. This can cause damage, weakening the tree. Nearby construction can also disrupt soil or even change the grade and water supply. If you notice tree trouble after nearby construction begins, check to see what could be the cause.

Structural Damage: A severe storm can damage the structure of a tree, making it susceptible to illness, fungus and insects.

Insects: there are a lot of insects that can infiltrate a healthy tree, but right now the most concern is geared toward the Emerald Ash Borer. This is a beetle that is ravaging ash trees all across the U.S.  laying eggs under the bark of the ash tree. The larvae eat away at the inside of the tree until it dies. One sign that your tree suffers from an Emerald Ash Borer invasion is small D-shaped holes in the trunk.

Is your tree in trouble? You need help, and you need it fast. Depending on the cause of the problem. Your tree could die within months.

Contact us today if you think your trees might be dying and let us help keep you informed!


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JC Property Professionals

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