When Should I Cut Down A Tree on My Property?
Does your tree look sick or like it’s going to fall? By knowing the signs of a hazardous tree on your property, you can take action to prevent catastrophic damages and losses.
72tree.com gathered information on the signs of a dead, dying, or dangerous tree, and whether or not it should be removed.
When Is Tree Removal Necessary?
You may need to remove your tree if it:
• Is dead or dying
• Is Rotting or hollow
• Has invasive or destructive roots
• Has been infested and poses a threat to surrounding trees
• Is diseased and could infect other trees or plants
• Poses an imminent threat to people, structures, or vehicles
Trees go through many phases as they mature. When any irregularities are detected, you should contact a professional tree service immediately. Have the tree professionally evaluated and make an informed decision on whether or not to remove the tree.
Is My Tree Dead or Dying?
The answer to that question is: Possibly. A deciduous tree may look dead, when in fact, it may only be dormant. Consider the following when evaluating your tree:
Deciduous Trees – A deciduous tree is one that loses its leaves in the fall and goes into a state of dormancy until the end of the winter season. These trees may look dead while in dormancy but are likely very much alive.
You can confirm this by performing a “scratch test” on a smaller branch or twig. If the twig is dead, it will be dry and brittle underneath the bark. A live one will have a shade of green and be moist under the bark.
Evergreen Trees – An evergreen tree maintains its foliage throughout the year. If you notice an excessive loss of foliage or the discoloration of a large portion of the tree, there may be root, sun, or wind damage.
The following are signs of trouble for any tree and should be evaluated by a certified arborist immediately:
• The unusual or untimely loss of foliage
• Sections of the tree failing to leaf out in the spring
• Discoloration or wilting of a section of the tree crown
• New foliage is stunted, wilted, or discolored
• Mushroom conks are growing on the trunk or on surface roots
• Sprouts or suckers growing from the roots of the tree
• Entry or exit holes from boring insects
• Dead branches in the crown
• Sudden shedding of branches
• Your tree has begun to lean
• Neighboring trees are dying suddenly
• Mold or mildew has grown on a significant portion of the foliage
• There is significant damage to foliage from an insect infestation
• Your tree was struck by lightning
• Large portions of bark have been damaged or fallen off the trunk
• A severe storm has stripped your tree of foliage and damaged multiple branches
Through the life of a tree, it will face many health threats. In most cases, it can overcome those threats and continue thriving. However, when the tree is confronted by multiple threats, its health may decline, allowing some of those threats to damage it severely enough to kill it.
Many of the above signs can be mitigated or completely avoided when detected in their earliest stages. You can accomplish this by having an annual inspection performed on your tree(s) in late winter or early spring.
Read more about identifying tree diseases and trouble at 72tree.com/signs-diseased-tree-dieback-suckers-water-sprouts/
Removing Nuisance Trees from Your Property
Some tree species can become a tremendous nuisance as they mature and thrive. Some of the problems they may cause include:
• Interfering with power lines
• Branches overhanging your house, garage, or neighbor’s property
• Invasive roots breaking foundations, invading septic tanks, or buckling concrete
• Large roots growing along the ground surface
• The tree is self-pruning and begins to shed large limbs (eucalyptus trees do this frequently)
Invasive root systems like those of the aspen species can cause massive amounts of damage in a short amount of time. Read more about invasive root problems at 72tree.com/tree-roots-buckling-concrete-driveway/
In cases where a tree is near or on your property line, arguments and disputes may occur between neighbors. Before taking any action, you will need to determine ownership and/or responsibility of that tree. Read 72tree.com/who-is-responsible-overhanging-tree-branches/ to learn how this is determined.
Do I Need A Tree Removal Permit
Cities and municipalities across the country have tree ordinances in place to protect or preserve their trees. That said, there are cases in which dead trees or trees that pose an imminent threat of falling can be removed immediately and without a permit. However, you will likely be required to document the hazard and the need for removal fully. A certified arborist’s report, in some municipalities, may also be required.
Special Trees – Some tree species are vigorously protected in some municipalities, and their removal, for any reason without permission, may result in steep fines, recompense, and even planting new trees of the same or predetermined species, as defined by the tree ordinance. These reasons may include:
• Historical significance
• Rare or protected species
• Wildlife refuge
• Trees with a specific diameter at breast height (DBH)
Whenever you have a tree that needs to be removed (for any reason), consult your city’s codes and ordinances to determine whether you need a permit or not. The following may help as well:
• Visit your city’s website and search for tree removal permit information
• Call your city’s arborist or Forestry department
• Hire a professional tree service that can acquire the appropriate permits and do the job.
When it comes to trees, medium and large trees should always be handled by professionals. If you try to cut such a tree down without the proper knowledge and equipment, you may be placing your property and your life in jeopardy.
Removing Trees from Your Property
In this article, you discovered how to determine when a tree is dead, dying, has become a hazard, and if it should be removed.
By taking action when you detect a tree illness, infestation, or damage, you are preserving the safety of your property.
When you delay taking care of sick or wounded trees, you are leaving an open invitation for catastrophic events that can destroy your property and threaten the well-being of you and your loved ones.
Who is Responsible for Overhanging Tree Branches
Don’t accept liability for a tree or its overhanging branches without clarifying responsibility. Once you know how to determine responsibility for a tree and its overhanging branches, you can better reach fair solutions with your neighbors during a tree dispute.
72tree.com gathered the following information on determining who owns and is responsible for a tree’s overhanging branches, and what actions to take.
Trees and Your Property Line
Whether you find yourself on the giving or receiving end of an overhanging tree complaint, it is essential to know who owns the tree in question.
When you purchased your property, you were likely required to get a property survey. If many years have elapsed or there is difficulty determining where the property line is, have a new survey conducted with the surveyor physically marking the property line.
All trees growing on your property with their trunks inside your property line are your responsibility.
In the rare case that a tree is growing directly on the property line, ownership and responsibility of that tree are equally shared between you and your neighbor.
Overhanging Tree Branches
As a tree grows upward, it also grows outward. Over time, some of those branches can grow past your property line overhanging your neighbor’s yard or home. The responsibilities of each property owner are typically as follows:
Owner of the Tree – You are responsible for the overall care of the tree, including:
• Watering, mulching, and fertilizing
• Staking or anchoring if the tree becomes unstable or is leaning
• Trimming or pruning the canopy (up to your property line)
• Detecting and treating illnesses and insect infestations. Learn more about tree health problems and solutions at 72tree.com/9-common-tree-health-problems-solutions/
If your tree succumbs to disease, infestation, or dies for any reason, the responsibility to remove the tree is yours. You could be held responsible for the damages it may cause if it should fall.
The Neighbor – Your neighbor is responsible for the following:
• The trimming or pruning of overhanging branches up to their property line*
• Cleaning fallen leaves, needles, twigs and other debris from the overhanging branches
Your neighbor should also make any concerns or complaints about potential hazards from the tree known to you.
If your neighbor documents this communication or files a complaint with the town, and you do nothing, you may be held liable for damages caused by any portion of the tree falling on your neighbor’s property.
*All trimming or pruning activities must be done in a way that promotes the health of the tree. If your neighbor’s actions result in the declining health or death of the tree, they may be held liable for the cost of the replacement of that tree.
Your Tree Falls on Your Neighbor’s Property
If your tree or a portion of the tree should fall on your neighbor’s property, the health of the tree when it fell is vital in determining responsibility.
Healthy Tree – If the tree was healthy and well maintained with no signs of decay or infestation, the removal and any damages caused by the tree will be your neighbor’s responsibility.
The majority of homeowners insurance providers will cover such a claim.
Diseased or Dying Tree – If your tree had clear signs of disease, infestation, rot, or your neighbor filed a complaint about the hazard, you could be held liable for all damages caused by the falling tree.
Protect yourself and your neighbors by hiring a trusted tree service to perform annual inspections of your trees. These inspections allow them to detect any potential trouble and recommend a course of action.
Learn more about what to do when a neighbor’s tree falls on your house at 72tree.com/my-neighbors-tree-fell-on-my-house-now-what/
View Obstruction Ordinances
Throughout the United States, there are a few cities with “view ordinances.” These ordinances state the importance of the view to the value of the property.
If your tree reaches a height that obstructs a neighbor’s view (in a city with such ordinances), you may be ordered to reduce the height of the tree or remove it.
Before planting new trees on your property, it is worth the time and effort to research your city’s laws for these specific ordinances. Once you know the limitations imposed by these ordinances, you can select the appropriate species to plant.
Overhanging Tree Responsibility
In this article, you discovered how tree ownership is determined, what you are responsible for when trees overhang a neighbor’s property, and their responsibilities.
By properly caring for your trees and having them inspected annually, you can detect potential issues early and get them resolved before turning into a problem or dispute.
If you choose to neglect the health of your tree(s), you can be held liable for all damages caused by that tree falling on your neighbor’s property or house.
NOTE: Cities, municipalities, and towns have ordinances that may vary from the information presented in this article. It is always recommended that you search for your city’s tree ordinances to fully inform yourself.
How to Fix Exposed Tree Roots
Are ugly surface roots buckling your concrete driveway or stopping you from mowing your lawn? Before you get frustrated and cut them out, there are some things you need to know.
72tree.com gathered the following information on how to handle surface roots without compromising the health of your tree.
Why Do Tree Roots Surface
While some roots grow deep in the ground, the majority of them spread out from the trunk within the first 4 to 12 inches of soil. As the tree ages, several factors may bring them to the surface:
Erosion – Over time, the top layers of soil may be washed away, lowering the ground level, subsequently exposing tree roots.
Soil Compaction – As tree roots spread out, they seek moist aerated soil to derive water and nutrients. When they run into compacted soil, they will turn downward or upward, and in many cases will grow along or just beneath ground level.
Natural Growth – The same way a tree trunk and limbs increase their girth with age, so do roots. Since the majority of tree roots grow within the first few inches of soil, they tend to break the surface as they thicken.
Species – Some trees grow this way. Species such as maples, poplars, and willows tend to grow surface roots.
As annoying as it may be, surface roots are a common landscape problem that can cause significant and costly damage.
Surface Root Problems
When tree roots surface, there are many potential issues they bring with them. Those issues may include:
Disease, Infestation, and Rot – Surface roots are highly susceptible to being injured or damaged by landscaping equipment, foot traffic, or wildlife. Damaged surface roots are easily infected by disease, or infested by insects and can carry harmful pathogens to the trunk and branches of the tree.
Damaged Driveway or Sidewalk – As these roots thicken and surface, the ones that have grown under sidewalks, driveways, and foundations will eventually exert enough pressure to raise or break them.
Read more on how tree roots can buckle a driveway and what to do at 72tree.com/tree-roots-buckling-concrete-driveway/
Damaged Landscape Equipment – Lawnmowers and other mechanical equipment can be severely damaged when making contact with surfaced tree roots.
Abnormal Growth – Where Tree roots surface, any grass or plant life surrounding those roots may become sparse or die.
Trip Hazard – When surface roots are further exposed by erosion, they may become a severe trip hazard when navigating your landscape.
Surface Root Solutions
While cutting the roots away may seem to be the best alternative, it is not. Cutting away roots (like damaging them) leaves the tree highly susceptible to deadly diseases and infestation.
The following are ways to resolve surface root issues without causing severe damage to the tree:
Mulch – At the first sign of roots breaking the surface, lay down a 2 to 3-inch layer of organic mulch. Mulch will help the soil retain moisture, and over time may redirect the roots to grow downward.
Soil Replacement – In cases of erosion exposing roots, lay down a 3 to 4-inch layer of soil to replace what was eroded. To prevent further erosion, you can mulch the area around the tree, seed the new soil with grass, or lay down sod.
Plant Plants – Where erosion is not the problem, one solution may be planting the area with taller ground cover or plants that won’t need mowing. As you create this “tree root garden,” take care to avoid damaging the roots while planting.
If you are still inclined to have the roots removed, hire an arborist to do this for you. Depending on the damage that may have already occurred, and type of roots that will be removed, it may be suggested to remove the tree.
Surface Root Prevention
Avoid the inconvenience of surface roots by taking action before they come to the surface:
Planting Location – Each tree species has a preferred type of soil, light, and nutrients for healthy growth. By planting trees in optimal conditions for their species, roots will be less likely to surface as the tree ages.
Soil – The soil type, moisture level, nutrient content, and pH level affect how tree roots grow. Deep watering, seasonal fertilizing, and annual pH level adjustments will encourage tree roots to grow deeper.
Species – As mentioned earlier, some tree species are prone to grow surface roots. When selecting trees for your landscape or yard, be sure to ask about the tree’s growth patterns, and do your research on the species needs for optimal growing conditions.
Read more about tree planting and care at 72tree.com/tree-planting-guide/
Exposed Tree Root Solutions
Don’t let gnarly surface roots discourage you from having a beautiful landscape. There are ways to incorporate them in your design without fatally wounding your tree.
In this article, you discovered why tree roots come to the surface, the problems they can cause, and measures you can take to solve and prevent them.
Your mishandling or damaging of surface roots can lead to the health decline and death of your tree. Before you cut roots away, call a professional to evaluate the situation and offer alternatives to save your landscape and your tree.
How is Your Tree Fighting Global Warming
Did you know that your tree is part of a global carbon sequestration system that sustains breathable air for the human race? In fact, without trees, life on earth as we know it would cease to exist.
72tree.com gathered essential information about the role of carbon sinks and how keeping your tree healthy plays a vital role in combating global warming and sustaining breathable air.
What Are Carbon Sinks
A carbon sink is a natural system that absorbs, uses, and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Technically, you could say that anything that absorbs more carbon than it releases is a carbon sink.
Earth’s principal carbon sinks are:
Trees and Plants – Trees and plants use carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere for their photosynthesis (food making) process.
Oceans – The oceans play a significant role in storing carbon dioxide. Some marine life will capture the gas for photosynthesis, while some of the gas simply dissolves in the water.
Soil – As plant life dies and decomposes, a portion of its captured carbon dioxide is transferred to the soil.
Nearly a quarter of the carbon dioxide humans have released into the atmosphere has been absorbed by trees and plants. As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase, so increases carbon fertilization.
Carbon Fertilization and Tree Growth
As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase, more is available to convert to plant matter through photosynthesis, and trees can grow more. This increased growth is referred to as carbon fertilization.
Because of carbon fertilization, trees will continue to grow larger and for more extended periods, as long as their necessity for water, sunlight, and nutrients (primarily nitrogen) is met. If a tree is missing just one of these necessities, it will not grow regardless of the abundance of the others.
Tree Planting and Forest Conservation
Tree planting and forest conservation are vital activities towards the reduction of mankind’s carbon footprint, as trees are remarkably efficient at carbon sequestration, they provide up to 30% of the global action required to stop climate change.
In fact, a single healthy tree is capable of releasing around 6,000 pounds of breathable oxygen over 50 years. That’s about the oxygen consumption of 4 people per year.
With 3.04 trillion trees worldwide and a world population of 7.53 billion, trees alone produce approximately 4,845 pounds of oxygen per person per year. While this number seems reasonably sufficient, carbon emissions are on the rise around the globe, leaving the ominous question of “How long can our trees sustain our oxygen requirements?”
Along with rising carbon emissions, trees and forests, do not always act as carbon sinks. In fact, massive carbon releases by trees may occur at any time when triggered by:
• Tree and plant decay
• Forest fires
• Volcanic eruptions
Suffice it to say that as long as carbon emissions continue rising, and the global tree population is threatened, the delicate balance of carbon sequestration and oxygen production can easily slide in the wrong direction.
Tree and forest conservation is one of our best weapons to fight global warming, and it starts in your yard. Keep your trees healthy by making sure they:
• Are planted in the right place
• Have the best soil type for the species
• Have sufficient water
• Are fertilized before their growth period
• Are seasonally pruned
• Are properly mulched
• Inspected annually for disease and infestation
Learn more about planting trees at 72tree.com/tree-planting-guide/
When living near or visiting a forest, you can participate in its conservation by:
• Camping in only designated areas
• Removing or disposing of your trash properly
• Building fires in designated fire-pits
• Fully extinguishing fires before leaving
• Disposing of matches and cigarette butts properly
• Not discharging fireworks
• Reporting suspicious activities
• Notifying park rangers of dead or dying trees
• Avoiding all activities that can physically harm trees
Learn more about forest conservation and preventing wildfires at redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/wildfire/how-to-prevent-wildfires.html
Your Tree, Climate Change, and Global Warming
It may be hard to imagine, but by keeping your trees healthy, you are actively pushing back against climate change and global warming. The human race owes its breathable air to the global population of trees, as they sequester carbon dioxide and release the oxygen we breathe.
In this article, you discovered the function and importance of carbon sinks, how your tree plays a significant role in global oxygen production, and how healthy trees and forests help to stop climate change and reverse global warming.
By keeping your trees healthy, you are actively participating in the reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide, thus slowing climate change and global warming.
The Stunning Southern Magnolia Tree and its Flower
The Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is an essential tree for yards and landscapes in hardiness zones 6 through 10, for its size, year-round beauty, and its enormous creamy white flowers.
72tree.com gathered essential information on the Southern magnolia tree, its characteristics, incredible flowers and their blooming season.
Magnolia Tree Information
Magnolia grandiflora, with its full luxurious look, is a favorite specimen around the world. The following are some of its features:
Family – Magnoliaceae
Height – 50 to 80 feet at maturity with some reaching 90 feet.
Width – The base of a fully mature magnolia can reach 40 feet in diameter.
Foliage – Mature leaves are dark glossy green and densely grow up to 8 inches in length by 5 inches wide.
DBH – The diameter at breast height of a fully mature magnolia tree can reach 24 to 36 inches.
Crown Width – This species grows in a pyramidal shape, its mid and lower sections can reach a diameter of 30 to 40 feet and tapers upward to a pointed or rounded crown.
Leaf Drop – While Magnolia grandiflora is an evergreen species, it will drop light foliage throughout the year.
Blooms – The flowers of Magnolia grandiflora are creamy white and can reach up to 12 inches in diameter.
Pests – While magnolia trees are generally free of significant pest problems, some varieties of scale, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and leafminers present potential infestations.
Disease – There are several fungi which can cause leaf spots, and in some cases, may lead to heart rot. However, for the most part, fungi are unable to cause any significant damage to adult magnolias. In the event of severe leaf drop or branch dieback, an arborist should be called to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action.
This magnificent species, native to the southeastern United States, has been planted in cities all over the world. It’s no wonder that Magnolia grandiflora became an instant hit when it was taken to Europe in the 1700s.
Due to its adaptability to many climates and soil types, and its unique beauty, this species has become one of the most widely planted ornamental evergreen trees in the world.
To learn more about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, read Trees, Shrubs, and the USDA Hardiness Zone Map at 72tree.com/trees-shrubs-usda-hardiness-zone-map/
Magnolia Tree Flower
The majestic Southern magnolia tree has an incredibly dominating presence from mid-summer through the end of winter. However, in early to mid spring, this specimen displays its true glory and reason for its worldwide admiration.
When the Southern magnolia blooms, it blooms at the tips of twigs all over with dozens of white lemon citronella-scented flowers open at a time. Healthy mature magnolias bloom consecutively until mid-summer, and these enormous flowers range in size, reaching up to 12 inches in diameter and lasting up to 7 days from bloom to wilt.
The Magnoliaceae family is among the eldest of tree families in existence. Due to this, we get to witness two pre-evolutionary aspects of flowers:
Tepals, not Petals – In magnolia flowers, the petals are fused with the sepals (sepals are typically green and function as protection for the flower while in bud); therefore, the correct terminology for these parts is tepals. The tepals of the magnolia flower are usually arranged in two whorls of 3 to 6 tepals each.
No Nectar Here – That’s correct, magnolia flowers do not produce nectar. These flowers attract pollinating beetles with their fragrant and sugary secretions.
The beautiful magnolia flower is the state flower of Mississippi and Louisiana, while the tree itself is the state tree of Mississippi. It should come as no surprise that the largest Southern magnolia is located in Smith County, Mississippi, measuring more than 122 feet tall with a DBH greater than 6 feet.
The Flowering Magnolia Grandiflora
If you live in the South and your landscape doesn’t include a Southern Magnolia, you’re missing out on one of the oldest and most beautiful blooming evergreen trees in existence.
In this article, you discovered a wealth of information about the Southern magnolia tree and its beautiful flowers.
If your property lies within hardiness zones 6 through 10, and you have yet to plant a magnolia tree, you should consider doing so for the beauty of the tree and the elegance of its sensational flowers.
Oak Wilt Identification, Treatment, and Prevention
Don’t let oak wilt (Bretziella fagacearum) kill your tree. While few fungi can bring down the mighty oak tree, this is one of them.
Oak wilt is one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States, and it’s on the loose, killing oak trees at nearly epidemic proportions. If your oak tree(s) appear to be in trouble, its problems may be caused by a fungus that, if not halted, will kill your tree in a matter of months.
72tree.com gathered essential information about oak wilt disease, how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it.
What is Oak Wilt?
Bretziella fagacearum, formerly known as Ceratocytis fagacearum, is the scientific name for oak wilt, and this fungal disease affects all species of the oak (Quercus) genus by disabling the water conducting system in these trees.
Based upon porosity and leaf shape, oaks are divided into two groups; red oaks and white oaks. Bretziella fagacearum affects these two groups differently:
White Oak Group – The species below that are part of this group have rounded leaf edges and pores clogged by tyloses.
• Quercus alba (the most commonly known white oak species)
• Quercus lobata (California white oak or valley oak)
• Quercus polymorpha (Mexican white oak or Monterrey oak)
• Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
• Quercus arizonica (Arizona white oak)
• Quercus garryana (Oregon white oak or Garry oak)
Tyloses are outgrowths on cells of xylem vessels. Tyloses fall from the sides of the cells and seal a tree’s vascular tissue to prevent or reduce damage.
Red Oak Group – The species below that are part of this group have pointed leaf edges and large open pores:
• Quercus falcata (southern red oak)
• Quercus graciliformis (Canby oak or Chisos oak)
• Quercus buckleyi (Texas red oak)
• Quercus rubra (the northern red oak)
• Carnarvonia araliifolia (an Australian rainforest tree)
Due to the difference in porosity, species in the red oak group are more easily infected by oak wilt and die more quickly than the white oak group species. In fact, infected trees in the red oak group may die off within a single summer season, where those in the white oak group can persist for several years after being infected.
Another difference is that trees in the red oak group produce fungal spore mats that facilitate the “above ground or overland” spread of the pathogen, whereas the trees in the white oak group rarely produce them.
How to Identify Oak Wilt Disease
Oak trees infected with oak wilt present the following symptoms:
• Leaf chlorosis
• Leaf drop (off-season)
• Dieback from the top down
• Veinal necrosis (Live oak species only)
In most cases of infection, oak leaves will turn pale green and then brown while still attached to the tree. By the time they fall, the tree is likely dead.
This disease is dangerous in that it is extremely fast acting; it can kill a mature oak tree in a matter of two to four months while spreading from tree to tree via grafted roots.
Grafted roots occur when the roots of two or more compatible tree species meet and fuse together. Once roots are grafted, they gain the ability to interchange nutrients, water, and disease to each other.
If you suspect that your oak tree is infected with oak wilt, have your tree inspected by an arborist immediately.
How to Treat Oak Wilt Disease
Once Bretziella fagacearum has infected your tree, your fast action is required to halt this pathogen. There are two principle ways to treat oak wilt disease:
Fungicide Treatment – Propiconazole applications are an effective preventative measure. During the earliest stages of infection, this fungicide is injected through holes drilled in the root flare, to the tree’s water-conducting vascular system.
The success of this treatment is greatly influenced by the health of the tree and the fungicide application rate. Any time holes are drilled into a tree for this type of treatment, a professional should be hired to make sure the fungicide is applied correctly and that the holes do not become sources of further infection or infestation.
Trenching to Sever Root Connections – When a tree has been infected and fungicide treatments are no longer viable, trenching will help stop the pathogen from being transmitted from tree to tree by grafted roots.
After identifying infected trees, a trench should be dug with a trenching machine, ripper bar, rock saw, or walk-behind trencher to a depth of at least 4 feet (trenches deeper than 4 feet may be required in deeper soil), and a minimum 100 foot radius around the infected tree(s).
Healthy trees within the trench are considered high risk and should be uprooted or removed to improve the effectiveness of the barrier. Tree removal should start immediately after trenching, beginning with the trees closest to the trench, and working inward thereafter until all of the trees within the trench have been eliminated.
An oak wilt contamination can be more easily contained when treatment begins early. Trees outside the trenched area should be monitored for several years after the infected area has been treated, and in the event of further infection, the same procedure (trenching and tree removal) should be repeated while the contaminated area is still manageable.
Oak Wilt Disease Prevention
Tree disease prevention begins with tree health. However, when it comes to oak wilt disease, special care must be taken to avoid infecting otherwise healthy trees. The following will help you avoid spreading the Bretziella fagacearum pathogen to your oaks:
Tree Health – A healthy tree has defense mechanisms that help it stave off attacks from fungi and insect infestation. Whether it be exuding sap to close wounds made by insects, or compartmentalization to contain invading pathogens, the healthier your tree is, the more effective its defense will be. The following steps help you increase your tree’s vitality:
During prolonged dry seasons:
• Provide weekly deep waterings for your trees.
• Fertilize your trees before the growing season begins (February, and early March).
• Mulch your trees to avoid losing soil moisture.
• Inspect your trees frequently for wounds and weather damage (including surface roots), use tree wound dressing, wax based dressing, or latex paint to seal these wounds.
Pruning Activities – Pruning encourages new growth. However, in the case of oak trees, pruning them may provide an opportunity for Bretziella fagacearum to invade and kill your tree. Adhere to the following guidelines when pruning oak trees:
• From February through July, avoid pruning or wounding your oak tree(s). This period is when oak wilt fungal mats are most easily formed, and oak bark beetles (Scolytinae) and sap beetles (nitidulid) are most active.
• Pruning activities should take place during midwinter or extended periods of hot weather in late summer. (these are the periods which present the least threat to your oaks)
• Sterilize all pruning equipment between trees.
• Paint all pruning wounds with a tree wound dressing, wax-based dressing, or latex paint to create an immediate barrier to contaminated beetles or airborne pathogens, regardless of the time of year.
• Freshly cut stumps and wounded surface roots should be dressed immediately, as Bretziella fagacearum can be transmitted from tree to tree through grafted roots.
Diseased Tree Removal – Oak trees that are dead or dying from oak wilt disease should be removed and immediately burned or buried to prevent dissemination of the disease’s spores.
When dealing with infected trees, call on a professional tree service to handle the removal and destruction of these trees. They will also be able to assess the potential risk to surrounding trees and advise you on any further necessary preventative measures.
Firewood Awareness – Avoid purchasing or transporting unseasoned firewood. Since fungal mats may form on unseasoned oak firewood, you could be unintentionally spreading the pathogen to uninfected areas.
Seasoned firewood has been dried for a minimum of one year and poses little to no threat of spreading the oak wilt pathogen.
Oak Tree Disease – Bretziella Fagacearum
Your mighty oak tree can become infected and die in a matter of months. The Bretziella fagacearum fungus can spread by way of insects, airborne spores, and through grafted roots. By the time you identify the problem, you may be dealing with several infected trees on a fast-track to death.
In this article, you discovered vital information about oak wilt disease, how you can identify it, what you need to do to treat it, and prevention tips.
Your slow response to this fast-acting disease can not only result in the death of your tree, but also to the spread of oak wilt to numerous trees in surrounding environments. At the first sign of trouble, call a professional to help you assess the damage and required measures for containment.
Tree Planting Guide
If you could make a significant contribution to the slowing of climate change and global warming, would you do it? With every tree you plant, you increase breathable air, reduce atmospheric CO2, and help the local ecosystem.
Planting a tree is the beginning of a journey with nature. The better the conditions are when planting a tree, the healthier it will be and faster it will grow.
72tree.com gathered the following hardiness zone, location, soil, watering, pruning, and care information to serve as a guide when planting a tree.
Tree Planting – Hardiness Zone
Tree species across the world have adapted to thrive in their respective environment. In the United States, the USDA has determined 11 hardiness zones by their average annual extreme low temperatures.
Before choosing a species to plant, you must first determine which hardiness zone the planting location is in. The following is the USDA’s Hardiness Zone Map.
For an interactive version of the map, visit planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/phzmweb/interactivemap.aspx
As an example, the state of Georgia spans through hardiness zones 6b through 8b, making it suitable for maples, oaks, and poplars among others. For these and other shade trees suitable to plant in Alpharetta or Roswell Ga, visit 72tree.com/5-popular-alpharetta-ga-shade-trees/
Once you have determined the hardiness zone of the planting location, it’s time to consider the planting location and select a tree species.
Tree Planting – Location
While trees are impacted largely by climate, conditions within their immediate environment are equally as important. Take the following factors into consideration when choosing which species and where to plant:
Shade Tolerance – Each tree species may react differently to the amount of sunlight it is subjected to daily. Here are the shade tolerance categories:
• Shade Tolerant
• Intermediate Shade Tolerant
• Shade Intolerant
It is important to note that shade intolerant trees like poplars, eucalyptus, aspen, and pecan trees may self-prune (drop entire branches) if subject to partial or full shade environments.
Wind Resistance – High winds and severe weather will test a tree’s foothold and its elasticity. Planting trees around the following wind-blocking features may help them survive the strongest of winds:
• Raised Garden Beds
A tree’s resistance to severe weather is also determined by its overall health and seasonal pruning practices. Crown thinning is the perfect example of a pruning technique that allows wind to blow more freely through the crown, significantly reducing the potential for severe damage.
Understory Trees – These trees grow from 20 to 25ft tall and are shade tolerant. These trees are well suited for “plaza” settings or environments in which they are surrounded by buildings and a mostly shaded setting. In a forest, these are the trees that grow between the forest floor and the bottom of the overstory canopy.
Overstory Trees – These trees grow from 40ft and beyond. Overstory trees are shade intolerant and require wide open space to reach their maximum height potential. In a forest, these are the trees that make up the uppermost part of the canopy.
Root Growth – In nearly all tree species, some roots grow deep into the ground to stabilize the tree, and the vast majority of roots spread out around the tree within the top 2 to 3ft of soil in search of water and nutrients.
It is essential that your planting location be far enough away from sidewalks, pathways, driveways, and building foundations to avoid buckling and structural damage.
For more information on how tree roots affect surrounding structures, read 72tree.com/tree-roots-buckling-concrete-driveway/
Tree Planting – Soil
Since soil contains the organic matter and water a tree needs, it is obvious that the growth and health of your new tree depend heavily on the soil it is planted in. The following guidelines will help you prepare the soil for planting:
Soil Type – There are four basic types of soil:
• Sand – Sandy soil has difficulty retaining water and roots are often unable to establish themselves firmly.
• Silt – Silt is a granular quartz or feldspar material sized between sand and clay.
• Clay – Clay soil is the denser of the soil types, has poor drainage, and compacts very easily.
• Loam – Loam is a combination of the other three soil types and is widely considered to be the best soil for planting.
The majority of tree species flourish in well-drained silt or loam soil, while few are adapted to sand or clay soils.
Soil pH Level – Neutral soils have a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5, acidic soils have a pH level below 6.5, and basic soils have a pH level higher than 7.5.
Depending on the species of your tree, it may grow better in acidic soil like pine trees, while most hardwoods do better in slightly acidic to neutral soil.
The pH level of the soil can be lowered by mixing in sulfur, and most fertilizers, while lime or organic mulch, can be added to raise the pH level.
When planting a tree, the soil within a 4 to 5ft radius around the trunk should have its pH adjusted to meet the needs of the tree species, and the soil mixed to a loam consistency to offer the best root development environment.
Tree Planting – Watering
For the first few years of growth, newly planted trees (in well-drained soil) require a deep watering every two weeks or so. Deep watering is when you allow a slow but steady stream of water to penetrate 10in or more into the soil.
The benefit of deep watering is that roots will grow deeper into the soil, discouraging surface roots. Surface roots are easily damaged, allowing for either infection or infestation which weaken the tree’s health and could lead to its early death.
During rainy seasons, deep waterings should be spread further apart, every 3 to 4 weeks, and during dry seasons or times of drought, weekly deep waterings may be necessary.
Tree Care After Planting
After a full year of growth, it’s time to start applying routine tree care practices. In late fall, you can prune your tree to encourage spring growth, maintain its shape, or remove diseased or damaged limbs. Learn the various tree pruning techniques and their purpose so you avoid making an irreparable mistake.
Fertilizing should only occur between the beginning of spring and the beginning of summer. Fertilizing in mid or late summer will encourage new growth which will not have sufficient time to harden and will likely die in the winter months.
Set up an annual inspection with an ISA certified arborist. An arborist can give you valuable insight as to the influence your landscape has on your tree and vice-versa. He or she can also help in the early detection of disease, infestations, and other potential threats to your tree.
Tree Planting for a Better World
You can help slow the effects of climate change and global warming by planting a tree. With a world population of nearly 8 billion people, research shows that the 3 trillion trees currently occupying the planet with us just won’t be enough for human life to flourish in the coming centuries.
In this article, you discovered the USDA’s Hardiness Zone Map, tree planting guidelines for location selection, soil composition, watering frequencies, pruning, and care.
By neglecting the world’s diminishing tree population, we as a people are potentially condemning future generations to an inhospitable planet in which little – if any – life will be able to survive. When you plant and care for a tree, you are truly helping to save the planet and the future of mankind.
Can We Live Without Trees and How to Save Them
Without trees, we all die. Besides providing oxygen for us to breathe, trees make life on earth sustainable. Discover what is happening to the world’s trees and why we urgently need to stop senseless deforestation.
Trees affect everything from the air we breathe to the rain that falls from the sky. Without a robust population of trees, we die and so does our planet.
72tree.com gathered tree information, statistics, problems, and actions we can all take to preserve our trees and our habitable planet.
What Will Happen if We Cut Down All the Trees?
Right now, just over 3 trillion trees are growing on our planet. Every year, over 15 billion of those trees are felled or lost to natural disasters. At this rate, earth’s last tree will fall in roughly 200 years.
As earth’s tree population nears zero, the following will occur:
Oxygen and CO2 – Trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it to oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. Without them converting CO2 to oxygen, CO2 levels would begin to rise while oxygen levels would steadily fall.
Trees are responsible for 35% of the oxygen we breathe. The other 65% are produced by algae and phytoplankton in the oceans.
Flooding and Erosion – Without tree roots to absorb water and stabilize the soil, even the smallest of storms will result in significant flooding, topsoil erosion, and landslides.
Air and Soil Pollutants – Trees work nonstop to filter ammonia, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide from the air and soil.
Without trees, these pollutants would find their way into what crops are left and into the feed of what animals are left, not to mention the air we breathe.
Evapotranspiration – Without trees, the process of evapotranspiration would stop. This is the process of moistening the air which produces more clouds. Evapotranspiration is responsible for maintaining the delicate balance between fertile land and dry desolate desert.
Fewer clouds mean less rain. With less rainfall, fertile land would dry up, fresh water sources would run out or stagnate, and agriculture will begin to fail on a global scale.
Acid Rain – Without trees to remove pollutants, what little rainfall remains would be mostly acidic. All remaining plant life would be crippled.
Global Warming – As the earth’s temperatures rise, the polar ice-caps would melt at an accelerated rate, causing ocean levels to rise and inundate coastal lands and freshwater sources.
As witnessed primarily in the south pole, the ice caps are already receding at an alarming pace, and if this melting isn’t slowed or stopped, it could threaten the survival of all wildlife within that ecosystem.
As the ice melts and causes desalinization in the oceans, weather patterns are subject to erratic change. Off-season snow storms, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes, and even blistering summers can all be driven by our raising global thermostat.
Labored Breathing – With CO2 levels on the rise and oxygen levels depleted, people with respiratory and blood problems would be the first to die along with animals unable to cope with the atmospheric changes.
Extinction – Small animals which once depended on trees for food and shelter would be the first to perish. Within a short period, the natural food chain would begin to lose its structure, leaving carnivorous scavengers to likely last the longest.
As temperatures continue to rise, the oxygen levels in the atmosphere decrease, and food sources become even more scarce, the food chain – in its entirety – would eventually break down, leaving every living creature on the planet on a collision coarse with extinction. Including mankind.
The timeline and events portrayed above are a representation of the first fifty to one hundred years without trees.
What Can We Do to Stop Deforestation?
You alone can make a tremendous impact on the future of our planet’s tree population. The following are ways that you can help stop deforestation:
Plant a Tree – Every tree you plant slows down the effects of deforestation. However, planting a tree isn’t enough. It is just as important to keep that tree healthy and resistant to disease and insect infestation.
Adding to the complexity of this situation is the process of natural deforestation. This is when beetles and other boring insects successfully attack large numbers of trees in either urban settings or forests. As these trees die, they dry out and become fuel for wildfires.
Besides annual inspections of your trees, whenever you detect the presence of an infestation or disease, call an arborist to assess the situation and offer a course of action.
you can discover more about tree health problems and solutions by visiting 72tree.com/9-common-tree-health-problems-solutions/
Go Paperless – Whenever possible, receive and pay bills online. With the technological advances we have at our fingertips, we are able to reduce the use of nearly all paper products drastically.
Recycle – For decades, companies and households of all sizes have been recycling. You can push this concept forward by only purchasing recycled paper products and by recycling yourself.
Look for Forest Stewardship Council Certification – This is known as FSC certification and can be found on wood, paper, and food products. Products with this certification are produced in sustainable ways and can be classified as follows:
• FSC 100% includes products that come from FSC-certified forests.
• FSC Recycled means the wood or paper within a product is sourced from reclaimed material.
• FSC Mixed means at least 70 percent of the wood in a product comes from FSC-certified or recycled material, and that 30 percent is made of controlled wood.
Eat Vegetarian – By eating vegetarian or vegan meals as often as possible, you are reducing the demand for livestock, thereby reducing the need for deforestation to graze the animals.
Teach Others about Sustainability – The most impactful thing you can do to save our trees and forests is to teach others how to live sustainably.
According to recent research, nearly half of the world’s trees have been lost over the past 12,000 years to agriculture and population growth, and at the rate trees are currently being cut down, they will be gone in 200 years unless we take action to prevent it.
What Can We Do to Save Trees
As mentioned above, planting a tree helps turn back the effects of deforestation, while saving trees is a bit different. To save a tree, you don’t necessarily need to travel to the forest and stand in the way of a bulldozer.
You can save trees every day by caring for the ones that surround you:
• Plant trees in their hardiness zone.
• Plant trees in locations where they can grow freely.
• Adjust soil conditions to match your trees’ needs.
• Prune your trees as it grows.
• Water your trees during dry weather.
• Learn to identify signs of disease and infestation.
• Schedule annual inspections by an arborist.
• When a tree becomes a hazard, have it removed.
That last bullet point may have confused you. There are times when tree diseases or infestations can pose a grave threat to the surrounding ecosystem. In such cases, removing the tree may be the only practical option to protect other trees.
Cutting Down Trees Affects Us and Our Environment
All living creatures including mankind need trees to breathe, eat, and live. Life on earth, at all levels, depends on the abundant existence of a healthy tree population.
In this article, you discovered important tree population information, statistics, problems, and actions we can take to care for our trees and keep our planet habitable.
Ignoring that there is a problem only allows the problem to flourish. If we are to preserve our planet, each of us must take action in some way to keep our trees healthy and rely less on the material possessions that encourage deforestation.
Tulip Tree Information, Problems, and Care
Liriodendron tulipifera also known as tulip poplar is neither tulip nor poplar. This species is a relative of the magnolia tree and is unbelievably easy to care for.
A native North American species, L. tulipifera is the state tree of multiple states, unique in its rapid rate of growth, and exceptional in its beauty. The tulip tree should be strongly considered for mid-sized and large landscapes.
72tree.com gathered tulip tree information, problems, care tips, and answers several frequently asked questions.
Tulip Tree Information
Liriodendron tulipifera is a blooming tree species native to eastern North America. The tulip tree is among the tallest of the eastern US species, is long-lived, and a favorite specimen tree in landscaping.
Tree Name – Yellow poplar
Scientific Name/Species – Liriodendron tulipifera
Family – Magnoliaceae
Genus – Liriodendron
Nickname(s) – Tulip tree, tulipwood, American tulip tree, tulip tree, tulip poplar, whitewood, and Oonseentia (in the native Miami-Illinois language).
State Tree – Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Lifespan – Can live up to 500 years or more when planted in optimal conditions.
Type – Deciduous.
Hardiness Zone(s) – from 4 to 9
Soil Requirements – Prefers well-drained, slightly acidic, moist, rich, and fertile soil with full sun exposure.
Planting Spacing – 35ft between trees.
Watering Requirements – Regular when young or planted. Minimal thereafter.
Height – 80 to 100ft on average (can reach nearly 200ft under optimal conditions)
DBH – 4 to 6ft.
Crown Span – 30ft or more at maturity (can be conical or oval in shape).
Root Spread – Yellow poplar roots will tend to match the growth of the tree. If the tree is 100ft tall by 40ft wide, its roots will likely grow 100ft deep and 40ft wide. In some cases, the roots may extend much farther outward in search of water.
Uses in Landscaping – A magnificent specimen, screen, or large shade tree, and is better suited for more spacious landscapes.
Winter/Fall Colors – Yellow before leaf-drop in the fall.
Tulip Tree Problems
Healthy tulip trees are incredibly resistant to insect infestations and disease. However, when your tree is stressed by drought conditions, soil compaction, soil nutrient depletion, or poor pruning, insects and diseases can successfully attack it.
Pests – Tuliptree scale, yellow poplar weevil, and aphids, in the spring and summer months.
Disease – Powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, and canker.
Major Disease Threat – Verticillium Wilt
Symptoms of Verticillium wilt are premature foliar chlorosis and necrosis, and discoloration in both stems and roots. Symptoms of wilting become more apparent on warm or hot days.
This pathogen attacks a potential host by colonizing its roots and spreading throughout the roots, trunks, and stems. Due to this, one of the best forms of disease management is to encourage the healthy growth of your tree.
Tulip Tree Care Tips
There isn’t much you will need to worry about as long as your tulip tree is:
• Within its hardiness zone (4-9).
• Growing in partial shade to full sun.
• Planted in moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 3.7 to 6.5.
Pruning should be done once the tree has entered dormancy in late fall and early winter. However, when cankers are detected, prune out the affected area including the canker (all the way to the trunk if needed).
If the canker is located on the trunk, or when other irregularities are detected, call on a professional tree service or arborist to evaluate the tree and offer guidance.
People Also Ask
Question: Are tulip tree roots invasive?
Answer: No. If they are planted far from structures, walkways, or driveways, and the roots are readily able to absorb moisture.
Answer: Yes. As with all tree species, the purpose of roots is a never-ending quest for water and nutrients. When they are deprived, they will spread, and make their way underneath foundations and other structures.
For more on the destructive capabilities of tree roots, read 72tree.com/tree-roots-buckling-concrete-driveway/
Question: What is tulip poplar wood used for?
Answer: Lumber from tulip poplars is commonly used for fencing, siding, flooring, and some furniture.
Question: Can poplar wood be painted?
Answer: As this wood has a particularly straight grain, paints adhere to it quite well. Stains, on the other hand, have a tendency to blotch and usually require that a conditioner be applied before application.
Question: Is poplar as strong as oak?
Answer: No. While considered to be a hardwood, the fast growth rate of the tree produces a softer/weaker wood making it easy to work with.
Question: Do tulip trees bloom every year?
Answer: Yes. However, this species only produces its first blooms after nearly 20 years of growth. Thereafter, it will bloom annually in late spring or early summer.
Question: Are tulip trees messy?
Answer: Yes. Like all deciduous tree species, they lose their foliage in the fall. If subjected to drought conditions, tulip trees may drop their foliage prematurely in late summer. Not to mention that when the tree blooms, the flower petals will litter the ground around the tree.
Question: Can tulip trees be planted in Georgia?
Answer: Yes. The entire state is within the required hardiness zone for healthy tulip tree growth. For more on this and other great landscape trees, read 72tree.com/5-popular-alpharetta-ga-shade-trees/
Liriodendron Tulipifera is a Perfect Landscape Specimen
Although sometimes called “tulip” or “poplar,” or both, the Liriodendron tulipifera is neither of the two. This magnificent relative of the magnolia rapidly grows tall and full, making it highly desirable as a landscape specimen tree.
In this article, you discovered tulip tree information and specifications, its problems, how to care for them, and answers to frequently asked questions.
If the tulip tree isn’t a part of your landscape, you are missing out on a fast growing and beautifully shaped shade or screen tree. They are easy to plant and require minimal care efforts.
9 Common Tree Health Problems and Solutions
Trees get sick. Like any other living organism, a tree can fall ill for various reasons. If left to its own devices, it can eventually fall causing catastrophic damages.
When an otherwise healthy tree shows signs of illness or infestation, you must take action by eliminating the cause or calling on a certified arborist to evaluate the tree and offer a course of action.
The team of arborists at 72tree.com prepared a comprehensive list of 9 common tree health problems and their solutions.
Weather and Tree Health
Trees are affected by inconsistent weather patterns. The following demonstrates how weather impacts trees and how you can help them remain healthy.
1 – Drought:
One of the most common ailments of trees, symptoms of drought can be tricky. Sometimes, the signs won’t appear until as much as a year after the damage has been done. Those symptoms include:
•Drooping, wilting, and yellowing of leaves.
•Premature needle or leaf drop.
•Thinning of the canopy.
•Deep cracks in the bark.
•Necrosis of leaves or browning of needles.
•Death of the tree.
Solution 1 – For planting new trees, make sure they are appropriate for the USDA Hardiness Zone in which you are located. If your area experiences occasional or frequent droughts, seek drought-resistant species.
Solution 2 – Water your trees regularly. New trees will require a deep watering once a week for the first two years (to establish its roots). In addition to watering, add a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the tree to help the soil retain its moisture.
After two years and through its adult life, trees are very capable of finding water sources. However, throughout dry summer months and near the end of fall, weekly deep watering and mulching will help prevent drought problems.
Solution 3 – Prune back all cracked, dead or weakened tissue. Without pruning these troubled areas, the tree will become vulnerable to infection and infestation. Call on an arborist when pruning removes more than 25% of the tree’s canopy or mass. They can assess the tree and offer a course of action.
2 – Winter Burn:
Also known as desiccation, winter burn occurs primarily in evergreens and causes a discoloration of the foliage. Effects of winter burn are more pronounced where the tree is exposed to the sun and wind. This affliction requires the presence of the following three factors:
Solution – Provide your trees with weekly deep waterings through the end of fall and beginning of winter (before the ground freezes) and mulch the area of the root zone for the soil to retain moisture.
For trees that are highly exposed to the wind and sun, wrapping them with burlap will provide an effective barrier which can be removed as temperatures rise.
3 – Improper Pruning, Trimming, and Cutting:
There is a right way, and a right time to perform tree pruning, cutting, or trimming. When performed improperly, the tree may be left exposed to infection and infestation. When done at the wrong time, new growth may not have enough time to adapt before winter, further stressing the tree.
Solution – Know when to prune. Depending on the species of your tree, it may be better to prune in early spring, late fall, or even in the summer months. Use proper pruning or cutting methods when removing limbs, branches, or stems.
Watch this video to learn more about proper pruning techniques.
Tree Insect Infestation
For the most part, healthy trees can stave off insect infestations. However, when a tree’s health is weakened, or there is an increase in the insect population, no tree is off limits.
4 – Insects on Leaves and Bark:
Insects such as aphids, inchworms, bagworms, spider mites, lace bugs, and tree scale are common and relatively easy to manage.
Solution – Apply insecticidal soap, neem oil, or a horticultural oil directly on the area of the infestation.
5 – Boring Insects:
Insects such as the Emerald Ash Borer, Japanese Beetle, Southern Pine Beetle, and Ambrosia Beetle are more complicated to control. You can identify boring insect activity by seeing “sawdust” from their boring activity and the entry hole they create when entering the tree.
Note: Do not inject insecticides, poisons, or other substances into boring insect entry holes. The chemical may end up further damaging the tree leaving it more susceptible to infestation and death.
Solution 1 – Prune back branches and stems that have been infested and destroy them to prevent further spreading. If more than 25% of the tree’s foliage or mass must be removed, seek the assistance of a certified arborist.
Solution 2 – When the infestation is in the trunk of the tree, call an arborist to evaluate the damage and determine a safe approach to halting the infestation.
Solution 3 – Prevent infestations by keeping your trees healthy. When you hear about an outbreak in your area, treat your trees with a bark insecticidal spray to deter the insects from making your tree its host.
Tree Fungal Diseases
Most fungal diseases make their way into a tree through the roots and open wounds. Once a tree is widely infected, it becomes challenging to control the fungi and will often result in the removal of the tree.
6 – Fungal Infection (internal)
The most alarming sign of fungal trouble is when mushrooms grow on the trunk or branches. Since they require decaying matter to develop, there is a serious issue at play.
Note: The introduction of herbicides to a wounded tree or beneath the bark will only serve to accelerate the death of the tree.
Solution 1 – Prune back and destroy affected foliage, limbs, and branches. Again, when more than 25% of the tree’s foliage or mass must be removed, seek the assistance of a certified arborist. The removal of the tree may be the only way to keep your other trees from being infected.
Solution 2 – Properly prune your healthy trees (or have them pruned) to keep them healthy. A poorly pruned tree is more susceptible to both insect infestation and fungal disease.
7 – Fungal Infection (external)
The wind, birds or insects often carry spores of fungi and pathogens from tree to tree. Cankers, fire blight, rust disease, powdery mildew, and many others are common in the spring and summertime.
Solution – Carefully prune back and destroy affected foliage and apply a fungicidal spray to the affected and surrounding areas. Surrounding trees and shrubs should all undergo treatment as well.
Watch this video to learn about pathogens such as fire blight and cankers which affect tree bark and foliage.
Tree Problems Caused by People and Machinery
All of the threats mentioned above aside, people pose the most significant threat to a tree’s livelihood either by lack of knowledge or accident.
8 – Soil Compaction:
The land that surrounds a tree (especially under its canopy) contains the majority of the roots that draw water for the tree. These roots grow within the top 12 to 18 inches of soil. When this area is compacted, these roots suffocate and die, severely weakening the tree.
Trees compromised by soil compaction are at a heightened risk of toppling in a storm or severe weather event, as their roots are no longer effectively able to anchor them to the ground. Many times, no storm is required, the tree will eventually succumb to its own weight and fall on its own.
Solution – Never drive or park any vehicles underneath a tree’s canopy. Likewise, never store heavy equipment, or erect tool sheds under a tree.
In most municipalities nationwide, tree protection ordinances mandate that protective barriers be placed around trees on construction sites to deter such activities.
The majority of those same ordinances impose heavy fines and replanting requirements known as a recompense for damaged or removed trees.
9 – Lawn Mowers, Motorized Equipment, and Bark Damage:
Below the bark of a tree and outer layer of roots, there is a thin layer of cells called the “phloem” which is the conduit for nutrients traveling up and down the tree.
When a tree’s bark is damaged, not only is the tree susceptible to infection and infestation, that flow of nutrients is interrupted and if the damage is around the majority or entirety of the trunk, the tree will be girdled and die.
Solution 1 – Do not allow lawn mowers and other equipment to damage protruding roots or the bark of the tree.
Solution 2 – For protruding roots, either raise the ground level to bury them, or carefully prune them. If you choose to prune the roots, call on a tree professional for detailed instruction or to do the job. Just cutting them out may result in the decline of the tree’s health and its death.
Solution 3 – If the bark of a tree is dried, cracked, or knocked loose, DO NOT remove it. Call an arborist to evaluate the tree’s situation.
Healthy Trees and Arborists
All arborists would agree that healthy, well cared for trees are capable of resisting most infestations and illnesses on their own. However, when a tree does present signs of trouble, knowing what to do can mean the difference between life and death for the tree.
Whether the troubles come from weather, insect, fungi, or people, the solutions are usually simple when detected and treated early. In many cases, to prevent the spreading of a pathogen or the demise of the tree, a certified arborist should be called in to assess the situation and determine a safe course of action.
When your trees show signs of trouble, doing nothing or hesitating to correct the problem may result in the decline of the tree’s health or even its abrupt death.