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Do Your Trees Display These Troubling Symptoms?

by Contributor April 13, 2016


You love your trees; they are a big part of the reason you chose the home you did.

You water them properly.

You maintain a nice, thick layer of mulch across the entire critical root zone.

You keep an eye out for the subtlest signs of dieback or blight.

You forbid your kids from playing on top of their roots.

You make the dog (ahem) go elsewhere.

You’d do just about anything within reason to keep them healthy and ensure they are here for decades, if not centuries, to come.

We certainly know how you feel.

Problems in Paradise

Despite your efforts, tree problems can occur at any time. All it takes is the wrong insect landing on your tree (or even worse, the wrong fungal spore or bacteria), to cause its health to decline.

You can’t eliminate these things from happening, so it is very important that you keep your eyes peeled for the earliest signs of trouble. Anyone can tell that a tree with a half-dead canopy needs some help. But by the time half of a tree's canopy has died, it is usually too late. Trees are stoic, and they don't show obvious signs of trouble until they are already struggling mightily.

That’s all about to change – at least, in part. We are about to share five important, but subtle, signs that indicate your tree may be suffering from a problem. Contact your friendly neighborhood TCIA-accredited arborists at once if you observe any of the following signs or symptoms:

·         The leaves of one section of the canopy are turning brown or dropping. This condition – called dieback or crown dieback – can occur do to a variety or biotic or abiotic factors.

·         The trunk develops a roundish area of discolored or otherwise odd-looking bark. Such areas are called cankers, and they can indicate the presence of a variety of deadly tree diseases.

·         You observe mushrooms growing from the trunk or the ground under the canopy. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi, and they indicate that fungal threads are infiltrating the trunk or roots.

·         One or more roots encircle the trunk. Roots that restrict the flow of nutrients from the roots to the leaves are called girdling roots, and they can spell disaster if not rectified.

·         Dust or wood shavings have accumulated at the base of the trunk. Often called frass, this mixture (which often contains insect droppings), indicates that beetles or other pests are attacking your tree.

It is important to understand that these symptoms may not necessarily indicate a problem, even though they are highly suggestive of an issue. Most of these problems can be fixed with the help of a competent tree professional, so don’t feel like a single mushroom or small bit of dust spells instant, unavoidable doom for your tree. Nevertheless, prompt attention is necessary to give your trees the best chance to survive.

These are not the only signs that your tree is suffering from a problem, so it always makes sense to have your trees inspected periodically to head off diseases, pests or environmental problems before they stress your trees. If you suspect that your trees are in danger, or you need any other yard cleaning services in San Francisco or the rest of the Bay Area, contact Arborist Now, and let us help. 


Photo from Pixabay.

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