A tree is a beautiful addition to any yard, but when it starts looking droopy, homeowners wonder if it’s time for it to go. There are some signs that can tell you when a tree is damaged or dying.
First, look at the roots of the tree. If there’s ground swelling around them, that can be an indication of decay. If there are mushrooms or other fungi growing out of the roots, it may be that the roots are decayed.
If there are small shoots coming out of the roots or the base of the trunk, this is a sign that the tree is very stressed, and may be dying. This is often seen in trees around home construction sites, when shade they’re used to has been removed, or the soil around them has been disturbed.
Then, look at the trunk and see if there’s loose bark or bark coming off. There may also be swelling on areas of the trunk. This is a sign that there’s rot inside the tree, and that it may not last much longer. A tree expert can actually probe the swelling and find out how much decay is in that area. Large vertical cracks in the trunk are a sign of severe damage.
The upper branches can also be an indicator of a dying tree. If the upper branches are not producing leaves or showing any small twigs with living buds on them, those branches are very likely dead. Large dead branches on the top of a tree are a potential hazard, because they can easily come down in a storm.
A tree that shows severe damage and is in danger of toppling over should definitely be removed. A tree falling or large branches coming down are a potential danger. Some things to look for that indicate a dangerous situation are: if the tree trunk is more than 1/3 hollow, if the tree is lopsided, which may cause the tree falling to one side, or if the tree is leaning to one side. Also consider tree removal if there are large dead branches, or if 50% of the tree is damaged.
If it’s posing an immediate danger, the best time is as soon as possible. Otherwise, tree removal can be done any time of the year, weather permitting.
However, not every dead tree needs to be taken out. Dead trees that are not endangering people or property can stay, if the homeowner prefers. They provide perches and food sources for many birds, including woodpeckers. They also help keep the soil in place.
If you have a dead or dying tree that needs removal, get a professional to do it. Removing trees can be tricky, and sometimes dangerous, and you want to be sure your property and loved ones are safe.