How to Tell If Your Tree Is Dying

Introduction: How to Tell If Your Tree Is Dying

Healthy trees give us shade, food, clean the air and make the environment beautiful. We want to do our best to make sure they are getting the care they need. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when a tree is unhealthy and needs attention. Below you will learn the symptoms of a dying or deceased tree. Remember it is important to call an arborist immediately if you notice your trees may be experiencing these symptoms.

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Step 1: Decay

Keep in mind that it may be difficult to notice decay since it often times affects the inside of the tree.

Visible symptoms include:

  • dead branches
  • mushroom-like spores
  • wood that breaks easily
  • soft and enlarged base

Step 2: Poor Tree Structure

Abnormal growth pattern can be caused by environmental factors, improper pruning or severe storms. A tree risks toppling over if it continues to grow in one direction. Note the direction your tree grows. Proper and well-timed pruning can help a tree grow straight and avoid serious problems.

Step 3: Weak Branch Unions

Branches can grow very close together and trap bark between them. This weakens the connection of the branch and stem of the tree. The branches can then suddenly snap or fall off causing harm to life and property. Weak branches are also dangerous to the tree itself. Examine the branches of your trees and check if the branch unions are solid and secure.

Step 4: Cankers

If your tree has an open wound, bacteria or fungi can infect it. Finding its way inside, they attack the tree and over time significantly weaken it. A result of this infection can be the formation of cankers which are areas of dead bark on your tree. Clean the areas around your tree and keep them free of opportunistic pests. If you notice any cankers on your tree, call an experienced tree specialist immediately.

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