5 Signs of a Dead or Dying Tree

5 Signs of a Dead or Dying Tree

Signs That A Tree Is Ready To Fall

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it”, the philosophical question asks, “does it make a sound?” Generations of philosophy students have pondered the question and posed another question, “who cares?” The philosophy of trees falling is much different than the physics. A tree or even a branch falling on your house or car can cause extensive damage not to mention risk your personal safety. The best time of year to inspect your trees is just before they get their leaves in the spring or just after they lose them in the fall. Professional inspections are a good idea, particularly if the tree is in a location where it might pose a hazard to life or property.

Here are some signs that the mighty oak that your grandfather’s grandfather planted those many years ago is ready to come down.

Cracked Bark
Cracked bark is a sign that the tree is sick or dying. If you notice two or more cracks in or near the same location or if the cracks are particularly deep, you have a problem. The tree is dying and you should call a tree service company to have it removed.

Exposed Roots
If you notice an odd lean, exposed roots, or raised ground around the tree, that indicates trouble with the root system. The root system is breaking down. The tree is unstable and needs to be removed.

Soft Sections and Voids
Soft sections or voids inside the trunk of the tree indicate rot. If you see mushrooms growing out of the tree or right near the base you have tree rot and need to take immediate action. Dead or rotten branches are extremely unstable and can break off at any time. If the problem is left untreated then once one branch falls the remaining tree becomes even more unstable.

Cracking or Separating Branches from Tree
Sometimes the problem may be confined to one branch. The branch union may show signs of cracking or separating from the tree and there may be localized signs of tree rot as well. It is necessary to prune the weak or infected branch but in many cases the tree can be saved if the rot has not spread.

Prematurely Dead Leaves
Prematurely dead or shriveled leaves may indicate a disease. Some diseases are treatable with fungicides but if left unchecked they will kill the tree.

In any of these cases if left alone, the tree may live many more years. One major storm event however, will create a potential killer in your backyard. Five people were killed by falling trees and branches in separate incidents during a single freak storm in Ohio. Of the 407 people killed by falling tress in the United States between 1995 and 2007, 41% were during thunderstorms and high winds alone accounted for another 35%.
Posted on Oct 14, 2013


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