The loss of one of your landscape trees to damage or disease can be heartbreaking, but it's much better to take it out before it falls and causes damage to your property or injury to a person. Knowing the signs of a tree in fatal distress is vital if you have trees on your property. If you notice any of the following three signs, it is time to call in a tree removal service.
#1: Major die back
A little bit of dieback among the foliage or branches is normal. Even if the dieback is caused by water stress or insects, a healthy tree will usually bounce back by the following year. Dieback becomes a concern when it is severe. The loss of more than a third of a tree's leaves or branches is a sign of a possibly fatal disease or infection. Another sign of impending death is if the leaves begin to die from the tips of the branches inward or only on one half of the tree, as this usually indicates an incurable viral or fungal disease. If you notice severe dieback out of season, have the tree accessed quickly. In some cases the cause can be reversed, but in other cases it is best to have the tree removed before the disease spreads to other nearby plants.
#2: Bark loss and holes
A tree can't survive if it loses too much bark. A missing piece here or there is no big deal. On the other hand, if the bark is coming off extensively, particularly if it has a spongy texture, chances are an insect infestation has damaged the tree to a fatal point. You may even notice holes in the bark or in the wood beneath the bark where the insects have bored into the trunk. There may also be woodpecker activity on the tree, since the infestation provides them with plenty of food. At this point, the tree needs to be removed.
#3: Severe fungal growth
A little bit of fungus on leaves or on a few branches doesn't typically affect a healthy tree. The type of fungus you need to worry about are the types that grow on the wood trunk. Shelf fungus, for example, can indicate that the interior of the trunk has begun to rot — a fatal condition known as heartrot. Mushrooms springing up from around the base of the tree can indicate root rot, which can also be fatal.
If you are worried about your tree, call in a professional to perform an assessment.
For more information about tree removal or other landscaping services, such as timber structures, contact a local company.