Is Your Tree Sick? How to Take Action
Losing a large established tree can be one of the most devastating property losses. We rely on large trees to shade our homes and yards, provide much needed privacy in the city and beautify our space. When you discover that your large tree is very sick, or must be removed, it’s a terrible feeling. And, there’s just no way to quickly replace a mature tree specimen.
If you know what to look for, however, you can take action to prevent the loss of your large tree, before it’s too late.
Prevention is the best medicine
Prevention is key when managing the long-term health of your trees. Ensuring all conditions are optimum for the healthiest growth also gives trees the best protection from illness or disease. No matter if your tree is sick or healthy, starting with these steps today will help improve and maintain your trees’ health in the future.
- Cultural needs: Giving your tree proper sun requirements, placement and planting, water needs, and nutrients are essential in keeping your trees happy.
- Expert Pruning: A tree that has regular, skilled pruning maintenance performed each year is less likely to be damaged or cause damage during a storm or as it ages.
- Be mindful: Landscape equipment and heavy construction materials can damage trees, cut into their trunks and cause compacted soil around roots. Do you have a remodel in your future? Protect your trees!
Mulch: Mulching around the base of your tree,but not butted up against the tree trunk, conserves moisture, suppresses weeds and insulates roots.
This is a tree-killing mulching technique. Never pile mulch up against the tree’s trunk. Always leave 6- to 12-inches of space between the mulch and the tree trunk. It should look like a donut around your tree.
Know the Signs
- Decay: Tissue of the tree begins to break down, i.e. weak, soft, or dead branches. Most obvious indicator is fungus like growth on the trunk of the tree, especially near the base.
- Poor Structure & Cracks: If the tree is not growing in its usual habit, or appears to be leaning, this could impact its health due to physical damage. Sometimes trees crack due to poor structure or other physiological stresses. Beware as some cracks can harbor insects or disease in the tree.
Cankers are caused by fungi or bacteria infecting an open wound on your tree. Cankers look like dead bark on your tree.
In doubt about your tree’s health? Call a certified arborist!
It is always best to consult with your certified arborist if you have questions about your valuable shade trees. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to have your trees inspected on an annual basis. Weather can change dramatically from year to year and has a big impact on our trees. A certified and experienced arborist can help you diagnose any issues with your trees and help you make the best decisions about their ongoing needs and care.
Posted: March 3, 2016