Tree Decay; What To Watch Out For

Trees are precious and important to our ecosystem, so it’s no surprise you’d want to keep yours healthy. Like people, trees can catch diseases and the most common one is wood or trunk decay. Decay is the tree ultimately rotting from the inside out and can lead to weak and brittle branches. There’s no way to cure tree decay, so once it’s gotten worse the tree will need cutting down. 

Yet, if you take proper care of your tree, you may be able to prevent any serious decay. Wounds in the bark of the tree start the process of decay. If you’re able to identify these wounds and any other early signs of decay, you could nurse your tree back to health. Below are some tips on how to look out for signs of decay, as well as how to keep your tree in tip-top shape. 

How to Assess for Signs of Decay

As mentioned, wounds caused to the tree’s bark is a starting point for decay to occur. These wounds could be caused by animals, insects, fire, or frost. Taking care of the wounds will promote the growth of new bark and wood. To start, you’ll need to assess the location and severity of the decay. Things to look for are excessive deadwood, missing bark, weak branches, and if the tree is leaning. 

On the other hand, internal decay is much harder to spot. If you’re lacking the skills, a trained arborist may be your best bet to assess this type of rot. However, some things could indicate internal decay. If your tree fails to produce leaves in the Spring, this could be problematic. Mushrooms will appear on brittle bark and branches will fall off. Falling branches can pose a danger to your safety. It’s recommended to hire an arborist to have a closer look to determine whether it’s decay. 

How to Prevent Tree Decay

If the tree is too damaged from decay, it will need to be removed to prevent any danger to you or your property. There are a few things you can do if the rot is new to save any further damage. 

Spreading mulch at the base of your tree with a barrier by the root crown can avoid any excessive moisture. Some stressors can harm your trees such as insect infestation and limited drainage. If you ensure these problems are handled as soon as they start, little damage will occur. Using a fertiliser will promote the growth of your tree from any lost bark of branches. If you’ve spotted dead branches, ensure you prune them away completely so they don’t fall or allow the decay to spread. 

It can be heartbreaking to remove a large tree due to decay. Therefore, it’s important to watch out for the signs so measures can be put in place. Maintaining your tree all year round regardless of decay is the best approach to take. This way, you’ll never have to remove your tree and you can give it a long, full life.