Got a tree looking a little worse for its wear? Whether it’s been hit by multiple storms or just creeping up in age, it may be time to finally answer the question if it’s worth saving despite all of your tree care over the years. Healthy trees have so many benefits, such as adding curb value, shelter, protection, and even emotional and mental benefits. So how do we determine when a tree has reached the end of its rope? Let’s discuss the signs to watch out for.
Tree Care: Is it Worth Saving?
What kind of tree are you dealing with?
One of the first things you or a professional arborist can do is figure out if your tree is a desirable or undesirable one. In fact, this can help determine how much time is left. Some types of undesirable trees include the Bradford pear, mulberry, black locust, box elder, Siberian elm, Norway maple, mimosa, empress, and willow. Undesirable species such as these have weak wood that’s prone to breakage. They also have shallow roots that will cause damage to the grounds. Present and persistent insects and diseases may also start rearing their heads on these types of trees. However, if your tree is undesirable and needing to be removed, make sure that you opt for a desirable species on the next go around.
Signs to be on the lookout for
Determining whether your tree is just sick or actually dead will be your first line of action. If you’re not quite ready to call up the professional arborist to find out, let’s talk about some signs you can look for in your tree. Below are some questions to ponder.
- Is your tree an undesirable tree as mentioned earlier? Answering this question is a great first step.
- Is the trunk damaged? The trunk can be thought of as the central leader of a tree. What makes a trunk so important is that it acts as a highway for water and nutrition transportation. Damage to it is difficult to repair.
- What does the foliage look like? Foliage will take quite the hit if infection, storm damage, or tough weather conditions have been persistent. Do more than half of the trees and branches look healthy? This may mean that there’s hope. However, if this is not the case, it may be time to part ways. Leaves are a tree’s sustenance and without them, the tree won’t be able to make it through the healing process.
- How’s the bark looking? Are there deep splits that extend into the wood? Bark acts as the tree’s main protection against the outside elements. Whether it’s the feasting from deer, squirrels, or rabbits, do not overlook extreme bark loss.
- Are there critters galore? Are you noticing beetles and ants scurrying around all of the sudden? They tend to flock to dying and sick trees.
- Are there mushrooms growing around the tree or any other fungal or bacterial infection? This may look like a discolored or depressed area in the bark. If it has become extreme or looks like it’s worsening, it may cause structural problems to the tree.
- Speaking of structural issues, what do the roots like look? Since they run so deep it may be hard to spot unhealthy roots, but it’s still possible. If it’s shallow or exposed, you may want to start paying attention.
- Is your tree suddenly emulating the Leaning Tower of Pisa? This is another way to detect structural problems. If it’s leaning more than 15 degrees, take note. These trees usually don’t make it.
- Have you tried the scratch test? Use your nail or a knife to check the cambium layer. If it’s not brown and dry (instead of green), you may have a dead tree on your hands. You’ll want to check throughout the tree to make sure it’s not just one area.
Is there hope for a dying tree?
If your tree has some of these defects, there are treatments that can help save them. If your tree has one or many of these signs (and they’re not extreme), it may be time to call, Omaha Tree, your nearest arborist. The sooner you call, the better. There is hope!
Additional Information: How to Care for Trees – nfs.unl.edu
Omaha Tree Services
At Omaha Tree, our mission is to provide tree care services & mulch products that improve the HEALTH, BEAUTY, & SAFETY of our customers’ trees. We recycle all of our wood waste material from the trees we trim and remove in the greater Omaha metro area. The wood waste material is brought back to our 8-acre site at 3606 McKinley Street, where it is processed into a beautiful & consistent mulch product that is local, fresh, and clean. Contact us today.