Trees, like most living organisms, come with their own expiration dates. So, taking care of your old and/or dying trees is crucial, not just for your safety but also for the safety of your neighbourhood.
Unstable and infected trees are bearers of red flags because such trees may fall into your yard or on your home if they become too weak. A storm can prove to be more fatal because one single jolt is enough for your tree to topple over in your backyard, even if it is not dead.
The easiest way to avoid such dangers is to keep a check on your elderly trees and note for some signs that will help you identify their condition. For example: Always keep an eye out for any symptoms of diseases.
So, how to know that it’s time to remove your tree? Here are the six clear warning signs that you need to cut down your tree.
A Lack of Leaves
Most property owners are aware that their trees lose leaves during autumn, and continue to stay barren during Winter. However, if you notice that the regeneration of your leaves this year is different than previous years, then that may be an indication of your tree’s deteriorating health.
A tree with few or no leaves may be sick and should be examined by an experienced tree service professional.
Mushrooms at the Tree’s Base
Bad news for your trees: Mushrooms and other fungi thrive on the forest floor. Large fungal colonies on your trees infect the roots and trunk, creating severe instability and safety concerns.
Sadly, if the fungus spreads rapidly, there is nothing that can be done to save the tree. Many invasive tree-damaging pathogens (like Armillaria honey fungus) are even resistant to fungicides.
Trees that have not been severely affected by the fungus may be transplanted after careful observation, otherwise, they must be destroyed in order to avoid future infection.
Watch out for Dead Tree Branches
If you see fungus developing at the tree’s base, look for dead branches on the ground. Sick trees often start losing limbs, which may accelerate the spread of diseases.
After years of dealing with trees, professional arborists have found out that ill or dying trees lose limbs to become “smaller” and need less food. This is similar to when the human body stops blood flow to appendages to divert it to the heart and brain.
Branches that fall unceremoniously pose a threat to your home or loved ones. Unattended falling limbs may cause a tree to fall, too.
Take Note of Bud-less Tree Limbs
It is possible to detect decaying branches before they fall. Keeping an eye on your tree’s branches may help you detect early signs of disease.
Tree limbs with no buds where they should be could be a sign of dying. Fine, brittle branches that break easily may also indicate ill health.
Monitoring the branch’s health can help you prevent bigger problems/damages that arise when diseases reach the tree’s stem and threaten its stability. As part of your routine landscaping care, check the branches of your trees.
Check the Tree Bark
Like human skin, a tree’s bark can reveal its general health.
If a tree’s bark has come off creating significant fissures and gouges, it may need to be removed. Cankers are bark fissures that are prone to burst or split, presenting a severe danger to safety.
Examining a tree’s bark may indicate its health. This is called a “scratch test”. Peel a tiny piece of bark off the tree’s trunk to perform a scratch test. A tree is alive if the underlying flesh is green. Brown and dry bark indicate deterioration.
When doing a scratch test, test several branches as a diseased tree may contain a healthy limb or two.
Assess the Trunk Health
While performing a scratch test, consider assessing the tree’s overall health.
Strong winds or storms cause your tree’s trunk to lean to one side, indicating weak roots and demanding removal.
An owl hole in your tree’s trunk is cute, but it may also mean your tree is dying. A hollow tree trunk is never a good sign. These holes occur in old, dying trees as a consequence of a falling limb creating a hollow. To prevent an expensive catastrophe, get your tree examined if you detect these kinds of cavities.
It’s essential to distinguish between ill and dying trees. Healthy trees may be preserved if they are promptly identified by a trained tree care specialist.
Contact a Professional Arborist!
There are professionals available to manage all aspects of your home’s landscaping, from tree planting to tree removal. ProArb Canterbury arborists can correctly assess the health of your trees and remove them if necessary.
Call (0800 087 337) or send us a message to learn more about how ProArb can help you.