As many readers of this blog will know, there are a million reasons why we just love a beautiful, healthy tree. They’re not just spectacularly beautiful, they’re a crucial part of our natural world – and without their oxygen, you and I wouldn’t be here at all! But like every living entity, it’s just a fact that trees will eventually die.
The death of a tree may be sad and often unavoidable, but sometimes you can spot the signs of a dying tree and do something about it. That may be nursing it back into being a healthy tree, getting it professionally pruned, or deciding that a dying tree should be checked out by a qualified Arborist. Together, you could put a plan into action to restore the life of a dying tree, or decide to get that tree removed before it starts to become a bigger problem.
Dying trees – How to spot them
Trunk, branches, leaves – a tree is a tree, right? Not quite. Before a healthy tree becomes a dead tree, there are plenty of ways you can spot the signs before it dies and begins to pose a threat to your home, family or property.
The death of a tree can be caused by a range of factors, including disease, age, pests and weather. Every different type of tree has different features and will, therefore, display different symptoms of ill health, but here are some basic things to look out for:
1. The bark
If you’ve noticed that the bark of a tree looks different to normal or has started to fall off, crumble or lose its earlier texture or colour, that’s a sure sign of an unhealthy tree.
2. The trunk
Beyond the bark, the actual trunk can also crack while it’s in the process of being a dying tree. Some cracks are normal and will be there for years without trouble, but if you spot a new crack that is particularly deep, it’s time to call an Arborist.
3. The foliage
A healthy tree will have thick, full foliage in the summer and spring seasons. But if yours stops producing leaves, or you suspect the reduction in foliage is because it’s on the way to becoming a dead tree, you could be right: dying trees typically don’t feature full, lush canopies.
4. The leaves
Zooming in a little closer, the leaf can be an important signal of sick, dying or dead trees. While leaves do change colours through the seasons, unusual spots or changes on the leaf is a symptom that what you have could be a dying tree. These leaf changes could be because of disease or lack of nutrients, but only a qualified Arborist will be able to give you a full answer.
5. The pests
A range of pests can lead to the death of a tree, and the most common in Australia are types of beetle, wasps, borers and termites. Some of these pests can rob the healthy tree of the nutrients it needs to thrive and survive, so look out for any signs that your tree has become infested. These include damage, holes and discolouration.
Just because you spot deadwood – parts of the tree that are already obviously dead – doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with a soon to be a dead tree. But an increased prevalence of deadwood can indicate that your tree is not healthy, so get an Arborist to give you a professional opinion before you act.
Finally, you can move your glance away from the actual tree to the soil that surrounds it. If it’s looking cracked and dry, that’s a sure sign that your tree will be very thirsty. And if the area around it has been disturbed, the tree’s root system may have been affected.
But as is the case for all of the signs and symptoms of a dying tree listed above, only a fully qualified and highly experienced Arborist like Jez and the team at JC Tree Services really know what to look for. So if you’ve spotted something and you care about your tree, garden, home and family, call Jez on 0418 451 814 and help for your beautiful tree will be on the way soon.