Many of us have childhood memories associated with trees—climbing in them, swinging from their branches, or diving into piles of their leaves. With these activities in mind, it should be easy to imagine how the death of a tree could not only be a sad event, but also a dangerous situation!
We see it all too often. When decay spreads within a tree, it causes the tree to drop heavy branches or even lean precariously to one side as it pulls up its roots and eventually falls to the ground. Suddenly, the same limbs that once offered shade and protection come crashing through windows, walls, and rooftops, endangering not only your property, but also anyone who happens to be there!
Fortunately, trees have a few ways of telling us that they’re in poor health, which means you can stop these kinds of disasters before they happen. We came up with five easy-to- spot symptoms that may mean your tree is dead or dying:
Tilted or Leaning Trunk Some trees grow at a natural slant, and that’s OK. But if your once tall and straight tree is suddenly leaning hard to one side, there is a chance that its trunk and/or root system has been damaged. Disease, infestation, and inclement weather are all possible causes, but whatever’s behind your tree’s new angle, it could mean the tree needs to be propped back up or even removed.
Fallen Branches Been picking up a lot of dead branches under your tree lately? Falling limbs are pretty strong evidence that a tree is dying—and a warning that bigger branches might start falling soon.
Patches, Cracks, and Holes The bark of a tree can tell you a lot about what’s going on underneath. Take a walk around the trunk of your tree, looking it up and down. Do you see patches of bare wood with no bark? Deep cracks in the bark, or holes left where branches have broken off? These symptoms might indicate that your tree is no longer thriving.
Not Enough Leaves—Or Too Many If some or all of your tree’s limbs are missing their new, green leaves come spring and summer, it’s safe to assume that those limbs are dead. If it hasn’t already, the rest of the tree will soon follow. However, dying can actually make a tree fail to drop its leaves in the fall, so your tree’s habit of holding on to dead, brown leaves well into the winter is also cause to consider having it evaluated for treatment or removal.
Rotting Roots and Trunk It can be hard to tell from the outside, but any type of fungi on your tree is a sure sign that your tree is rotting from within. Check for any mushrooms or other types of fungi growing on the trunk, roots, or soil immediately surrounding the tree. Their presence means that they are feeding on the rot that has taken over beneath the bark.
So, check out your tree. Do you see any of these symptoms? Don’t despair! There’s a chance that proper treatment could still return your tree to its former health.
Your run-of-the-mill yard service is unlikely to know how to recognize and treat disease in trees, but Southeastern Tree Removal is trained and experienced in tree care. In the event that your tree is beyond saving, we can remove it with the greatest care, leaving your property clean and safe from falling branches. But, if you spotted these symptoms early enough, we will develop a care plan to rescue your tree, so you can swing from its branches for many years to come!