3 Early Signs Your Tree is Dying. And What You Can Do About It.

By: albertaarb - October 19, 2014

Trees are a wonderful addition to your property. They provide shade from the hot summer sun, beauty, nature and even fun in the form of rope swings and tree houses. For the most part, trees care for themselves. They are tough, withstanding the harsh elements year-round, putting up with insects, bacteria, drought and disease.

Occasionally though, trees get sick. When this happens and the tree can't fight it off, human intervention is needed. A diseased and dying tree is not only unfortunate, it can be dangerous, too. Sick and dying trees are more prone to falling down, causing potential damage to your home. Diseases, bacteria and parasites can spread to other trees.

Here are three signs that your tree needs help.

Losing Leaves Or A Reduction Of Leaves

Defoliation is a sign that there is something going on with your tree, and is often a sign of Anthracnose. This is not the same as a tree losing it's leaves in the fall. If your tree should have leaves, and it doesn't, or if it is losing it's leaves during the spring and summer months, this is a sign of trouble.

Leaf loss can be a sign of a disease, certain pests or lack of water. If you are experiencing a drought, be sure to water your trees, especially younger trees that don't have an established root system. If you notice unhealthy leaves or suspicious pests or molds, your best bet is to call your local arborist.

Dead Wood

If you are noticing an increase in dead limbs, it could signal a problem. While it is not always a sign of a dying tree, it should be addressed. Aside from being unsightly, dead wood and poor limb attachment can be dangerous, resulting in falling branches. Careful pruning and removal of the dead or decaying wood can help. Pruning needs to be done a certain way. A poorly pruned tree can leave it susceptible to other illness, and cause it to grow incorrectly. If you are unsure how to prune your tree, call a landscaper or tree specialist to do it for you, or show you how to do it yourself.

Signs Of Rot And Decay Near The Roots

You should regularly inspect the trunk and visible roots of your trees. Rotting, spongy wood at the base of the trunk indicates decay and disease. This may be a result of mold, fungus or pests. To prevent this problem, or halt it in its early stages, it is important to give the tree base and roots plenty of breathing room.

Avoid using weed killer or fertilizer on the grass right around the tree. If you use mulch, leave some space around the perimeter of the tree so that the base and roots don't stay soggy and damp, which can cause mold and rot. If your tree has exposed roots, it is best to avoid mowing the lawn around them, this can cause damage. Hand trim the area instead.

If you are unsure of what is wrong with your tree, the best bet is to call a professional. Getting the problem diagnosed right away means there is a better chance of saving your dying tree and ensuring the health of surrounding trees.

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