Keeping the trees on your property healthy and looking good is just one of the reasons people choose to go to professionals like Mr. Tree. With tree maintenance services such as pruning and trimming, your tree can withstand many obstacles that come its way. Still, trees can become infected with disease or infested with pests, and despite your best efforts, go beyond repair.
It’s not uncommon for people to miss when the trees on their property begin to show signs of dying. Some symptoms are very discreet, such as a slight leaning or issues with the roots. Some signs, like bare branches or fungus, are harder to miss, and other times, there may be no visible symptoms. The dying process has usually been happening for a while before any visible signs begin to show, and when they do, it’s best to contact a professional. Depending on the damage done, parts of a sick tree can be removed to help it gain its health back, but a dying tree with no hope can become a danger to people and structures on the property.
Here are a few signs that may indicate your tree is dying. Keep an eye out for them and contact a professional if you want the tree removed.
1. Bare Branches
If a tree on your property was once full of leaves or flowers and is no longer producing them, you may have an issue on your hands. If you’ve had the tree for a long time or there are other trees of the same species around it, you’ll know when branches shouldn’t be bare. Sure, this could just be an off-year, but if your tree is consistently no longer producing leaves or flowers and it used to, it could be dying.
Bare branches are one of the more obvious signs a tree is dying. Disease is usually the reason your tree’s leaves stop growing. Another sign you should look out for is if only half of your tree is producing leaves and the other half is bare. Though this may seem like a good sign, because one side of the tree is doing its job, it may mean that one side is currently diseased, which can create an imbalance in the tree. This uneven distribution of weight can cause the tree to fall, and the disease will usually spread from one side to the other over time.
2. Signs of Root Damage
Damage to the roots is an easy way to tell if a tree is dying. The roots are an important aspect of the tree, and damaged or infected roots can easily weaken the rest of the tree. Though most of the root system is underground, giving the exposed roots a look is a good idea when looking for signs a tree is dying.
One issue that can cause roots to contribute to the death of a tree is if the soil is packed too tightly around them. This often happens when there’s a lot of traffic beneath the tree, whether it’s humans, animals, or something on wheels. It can also occur when people are mulching. Mulching too close to the trunk of the tree can suffocate the roots, which won’t allow them to receive the proper nutrients or water needed to ensure the health of the rest of the tree. If you’re unable to see any of your roots, and your tree is suffering from some of the other symptoms of a dying tree, this could be a reason why.
Other things you should look out for involving the roots are fungus or insects on them. A problem at the root will affect the rest of the tree.
3. Increase in Insects
Having a few harmless insects on or around your tree can be healthy, but when that number becomes too high, it can mean the tree is infested. Insects and pests can be one of the biggest problems that lead to a tree dying. As they travel, they often carry with them diseases that they spread wherever they go. Their presence can also be a signal your tree is dying: they recognize the tree is vulnerable and start to feed on it.
Certain pests, like bark beetles, prefer to live in trees that are already dying and are known to spread diseases from one tree to another. You should also look out for certain types of moths and carpenter ants. You can avoid aiding these types of bugs in damaging or killing your trees by not transporting firewood from one place to another, making sure you’re planting native trees, and keeping an eye out so that you can spot any invasive species quickly.
Despite your best efforts, theses insects will always be a threat to trees and are tough to get rid of once they’ve arrived. Mr. Tree can take a look at your tree if you suspect it has become infested.
4. Unhealthy Branches
Giving the branches a closer look might show you signs a tree is dying. Aside from the branches not producing their typical leaves, the branches themselves may show signs of dying by breaking off in large amounts or by their tips looking less lively. If your tree has just a few branches that have fallen, don’t be alarmed. Fallen branches are a natural part of a tree’s life cycle. But if there are many branches falling off in a short period of time, it may be cause for concern. Trees also show they are dying by losing their bark.
A leaning tree is never a good sign. Whether it’s caused by a storm or due to disease, a leaning tree will eventually fall, which can be dangerous. Falling trees are a danger to both people and structures, so addressing a fallen tree quickly is of extreme importance. A local arborist, like Mr. Tree, will be able to safely take the tree down and also get rid of the remaining stump.
You may think that it was just the wind that caused your tree to begin leaning, but there’s usually more to it than that. A tree so easily affected by the wind is usually suffering from an underlying cause, such as weakened roots. A tree without sturdy roots or roots that never get a good hold on the ground they’re planted in is never able to grow properly. That unsteady foundation allows part, if not all, of the root system to be unearthed easily, causing the leaning and eventually the falling of the tree.