It is important to inspect trees in your yard for signs of distress regularly; if left unchecked, these issues can have devastating financial and aesthetic consequences. Knowing the warning signs that a tree is dying can help identify problems before they get worse.
1. Fungal Growth
Fungus growth on the trunk or near a tree’s roots indicates rot and decay. It could also mean the tree is not getting enough nutrients from the soil or air. Fungus feeds off the moisture in the tree and can eventually lead to an entire tree dying. If you find any fungal growth, it is best to have a certified arborist inspect it immediately.
2. Dead Branches
Dead branches are easy to spot, as they will have no leaves and be dry and brittle. A dead branch indicates that the tree has a problem with its internal water transport system. This can be caused by environmental factors such as drought, poor soil quality or nutrient deficiency, or disease. You should prune immediately to prevent further damage.
3. Leaning Trunk
A leaning trunk signifies structural instability and can indicate that the tree may topple in strong winds or heavy rains. Poor soil conditions, root damage, or disease can cause this. In some cases, this leaning is irreversible, and the tree should come down before it topples over in a storm and causes serious damage to structures nearby.
4. Cracked or Peeling Bark
Scaly and cracked bark or large pieces peeling off the trunk can signify diseases such as fungus or rot. Bark damage can also lead to further insect and fungal infestations, spreading rapidly if left untreated. This damage is often irreversible and should be assessed immediately by a certified arborist to determine whether the tree needs to be removed.
5. Boring Insects
Wood-boring insects, such as beetles and wood ants, are attracted to weak trees in decline. If you notice large holes or sawdust on the tree’s trunk or branches, it is likely that these insects have infiltrated the tree and caused significant damage. This may be too late, and the tree should come down before the infestation spreads.
6. Leaf Loss
If your tree is losing its leaves earlier than expected, this could be a sign that the tree needs more nutrients or water. Also, if you notice an excessive amount of leaf loss, or the leaves are discolored or wilting, this could be a sign of a deeper problem, and you should have the tree inspected.
Mushroom growth around a tree’s base signifies that the tree’s roots are decaying. This could be due to soil compaction or nutrient deficiencies and can cause the tree to become unstable over time. If you notice mushrooms, call an expert immediately so they can determine if the tree needs to come down before it becomes hazardous.
It is important to recognize the warning signs that a tree is dying and needs to come down before it causes more damage or becomes hazardous. If you notice these seven signs, have an arborist inspect your tree as soon as possible.