Trees are some of the most valuable and beautiful living things on earth. They provide oxygen, shade, building materials, and are a key part of the beauty of many parks and yards.
However wonderful trees are, unfortunately there comes a time when cutting down the tree is necessary. It's important to find out if you have a dying tree on your property so you can address the problem before it becomes a safety hazard.
Keep reading to learn about 7 ways to tell if your tree too sick to save.
1. It Has Few LeavesDeciduous trees lose their leaves each year, of course. But, if few leaves come back, or if the tree loses most of its leaves before it should, it's a sign the tree may be dying.
Dying trees may also hang onto their autumn leaves well into the winter, after they should have fallen to the ground. Any abnormal leaf activity could be a bad sign.
Evergreen trees can also show signs of distress through their needles. If their green needles turn brown, red, or yellow, that is a serious sign the tree might be dying, or at least needing immediate attention.
If only one side of the tree looks bare, that could still mean you need to cut the whole tree down, since living and dead parts of the tree make it unbalanced and likely to fall over. Tree removal is our specialty, so don't hesitate to ask for a professional opinion.
2. It Has Several Dead LimbsA few dead branches are not usually a big deal. They just fall to the ground and the tree continues just fine. However, if there are several, large limbs and branches that are dying, that is a serious concern.
As more and more branches die, the structural integrity of the tree is diminished. Regular maintenance can address some dead branches, but once it passes a certain point, the tree is dying and will need to be cut down for safety.
3. The Bark Is Chipping AwayAs trees begin to die, their bark becomes very brittle and falls off the tree in large chunks. It could also develop long vertical cracks that go from near the ground and up the tree.
Multiple deep splits in the bark that keep getting worse are bad signs for the life of the tree. The same is true of problems with the bark that gets worse with each rainfall or strong windstorm.
4. There Is Visible Root DamageRoots are usually hard to see, but there are some situations that might reveal root damage. The most obvious is when the root system is too shallow and can be seen growing above the ground. This is not normal and signifies the tree is not healthy.
Healthy trees have huge, deep root systems. It can be hard to know exactly where the roots extend. So, if you are digging or doing construction work in your yard, there is a chance you may inadvertently damage the roots.
If the damage is serious enough, it may endanger the life of the tree (and is certainly a danger to you if it leads to the tree falling). Even if you can't see the root damage, trees that suddenly lose color or look unhealthy could have sustained root damage.
5. The Tree Develops a TiltIf an otherwise straight tree develops a lean, it's an indication it may be dying. This could happen suddenly or slowly over the course of time.
A very strong storm may damage a tree and cause a lean to develop immediately. However, most winds and storms do not permanently affect the tree. If the tree can't withstand moderate winds, it is not healthy.
Root damage or other longer-term health issues could lead to a slow-developing lean. Either way, a leaning tree is both unhealthy and a safety risk.
6. It Has an Insect InfestationTrees provide great habitat for many insects and other animals. But, they can also become too infested with insects.
When this happens, it is detrimental to the tree. There are lots of insects that cause problems for trees in Florida.
Some insects, like bark beetles, seek out dying trees. If your tree is full of these beetles, it's another sign that the tree is on its way out.
7. The Wood Below The Bark Is BrownWhile the bark is supposed to be brownish, the layer of wood just below the bark, called the cambium, is green when healthy. In order to test this, you'll have to make a small incision in the tree.
Cut down past the bark and take a look. If the wood is green, that's good. If it appears brown and dry, that's a sign the tree is dying.
Test multiple areas around the tree to be sure. This is sometimes called the scratch test, and it won't harm the tree.
Call The Professionals If You Have a Dying TreeA dying tree poses a big risk to you, your family, and your home. It's always sad to have to cut down a tree, but it needs to be done before the tree falls and does damage.
If you have evaluated your tree and seen some of the above signs that it's dying, please contact us right away. Or, if you just have some tree-related questions, feel free to reach out.
Our experienced arborists can evaluate the situation and let you know the best course of action, whether that's a good trim or cutting it down.
Just like you, we love trees and want you to enjoy them safely.
Are you worried about one of your trees falling on your house or in your yard? Well, it's a completely valid concern, because it does happen all too often.
In most cases, you want to resolve the issue before it becomes an issue. If you can determine when a tree is about to fall, then you can easily mitigate the side-effects of it actually falling.
In this article, we will cover what to do when a tree falls, and how to know when it's about to.
So keep reading to learn more.
How to Know If A Tree Is About to Fall?As mentioned earlier, the best way to resolve an issue is to prevent it from occurring. Fortunately, when it comes to trees, they are pretty good at giving signs about their health. So let's take a look at those.
Dead Branches That Fall With EaseFirst, dead branches are not a sign that a tree will fall over entirely. However, it does present a great insight into the general health of the tree. When you start to see lots of dead branches, your tree is telling that something is not right.
Branches are shed because the tree is good at self-management. It's trying to make itself smaller, which probably means that it's not getting enough nutrients, which also means that it might be getting attacked by insects or infected with a disease.
Hole In the TrunkOne of the common side-effects of trees that self-prune (drop-dead branches) is the appearance of cavities/holes in the trunk.
This open wound can lead to the decay of the integrity of the tree. However, this does not directly mean that it will collapse soon. If the cavity has enough solid wood around and it's isolated, then the tree is most likely not going to break in half or tip over.
It's best to contact an arborist for further assessment.
Missing Bark Or Deep CracksAnother sign that your tree is dying is the missing presence of or lack of bark on the trunk of the tree, which should definitely be examined by a tree professional.
The presence of cankers is a definite sign of tree death. Also, if you see deep cracks on the trunk, you should be concerned. These will make the trunk weak, thus making the tree a potential hazard.
When you spot these issues, take care of them sooner than later.
Tight V-Shaped GrowthTrees are miracles. If a tree's branch growth is not at an ideal distance, there is something wrong with it. Branches that grow too close to each other will be in a V-shape, which is deviated from the perfect U-shape that it can have.
The best time to recognize this branch growth is during the winter or late fall after the leaves have fallen, and the tree has already went deep into hibernation.
Rotten and Weak RootsThis issue is harder to spot but it's persistent nonetheless. Because the tree roots are covered in the soil it might be difficult to uncover at first, but there is one reliable method for finding tree rot.
Look for fungi and mushroom growth around the base of the tree, which is a good sign that the wood is rotting.
What Do I Do If a Tree Falls?First and foremost, ensure everybody's safety. Once that is settled, assess the circumstances for the presence of other hazards, such as downed power lines. If this is true, stay as far as possible and call the utilities/power company.
Treat any cable or line as it is life, and stay away until proper specialists have arrived and addressed the issue.
If the tree falls on your house, there are several factors that will help determine how bad the situations really, and the degree to which damage has occurred. Many of these will seem urgent or obvious, but here is a shortlist of considerations that will ensure the safety of your family.
First, evacuate ASAP. If you're on the third or second story, it's best to get on the main floor as soon as possible. Make sure everyone is safe and accounted for.
Second, call emergency help. If you find yourself in a situation in which a tree is blocking an exit, call for help. This is an emergency, and emergency help is needed.
Third, protect the inside structure. Tree roof damage will expose your home to the elements. Be careful when covering anything that could be damaged by moisture, and make surer to lock the doors and secure valuables.
Hire an Arborist/Tree SpecialistIf you've already called for emergency help from an arborist, good for you. If you haven't, now is the time. Make sure they are certified and let them assess the circumstances. Arborists are efficiently-trained when it comes to complex tree and equipment situations.
They know what to do when it comes to tree removal, and have the necessary experience in getting the job done right. It's important that good work by qualified people will cost more than the same work being done by some unexperienced fella.
Professional prices come with worker's compensation insurance, liability, and bonded security. Not to mention, the use of specialty equipment, such as hardware, loaders, and cranes. If you think the estimate is too high, ask what it consists of. You might be getting a lot more than just tree removal.
Let's Prevent the IssueNow that you know what to do if a tree falls, and how to determine if it's about to, you are well on your way in securing your household from tree hazards. However, knowing is one part of the equation, as you also need to act upon that knowledge.
If you need help in assessing your yard for potential hazards and consequently removing them, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your needs.
We tackle all the jobs the same, no job is to small or to big. Call us today at