Signs That An Old Tree Needs To Go

dead tree with mushrooms growing on it

There are times when a tree’s life has ended, and there is nothing that you can do to restart it. It is important to remove it when this happens since the tree can pose a serious threat to you and the surrounding area. It can attract insect invaders, fall on people or structures, and smother surrounding plants with falling detritus. To prevent this from happening, you will have to recognize when it is dead. Fortunately, there some signs that can help to identify a dying tree before deciding on a tree removal.

Bark Peels

A dying tree might have bare patches where the bark has flaked away. A dead tree will shed bark like a cat on your new sofa. The bark itself may have fungus and holes from insects.

Branches Drop

Dead branches turn gray and get brittle. The bark on the dead branches will fall off. They will break easily, might have fungus on them, and will either have a few tiny leaves or no leaves at a time when they should have lots. If many branches on a tree are dead, the tree may be, too.

Leaves Drop

The indicators for leaves vary by type of tree. An Evergreen tree’s needles will turn red or brown (especially the top third) and drop. A Deciduous tree that is dying or has died will lose leaves in the spring, and the leaves may turn brown and brittle during the growing season. A sick tree of either type might have yellow leaves.

Mushrooms and Other Fungus

Fungi love dead wood. It sends little roots into the dead tree, liquifies its innards, and sucks up the nutrients that the tree corpse is releasing. This means that a dead tree might sprout a bunch of mushrooms along its trunk and branches. Other types of fungi might grow on the tree’s roots and make them slimy. Big patches of mushrooms surrounding your tree might also indicate that they are feasting on the dead roots.

Deadwood Loving Insect

Many insects like to make their home in dead trees or can only eat dead wood (insects who do this are called saproxylic). Carpenter ants, termites, and some types of beetles may settle into a dead tree. A carpenter ant colony can be identified by the ring of sawdust around the tree. Other insects will leave holes in the trunk.

What you do once you realize that a tree is beyond repair is critical. A dead tree can be heavy and dangerous to handle once you are dismantling it. For instance, a tree that is a measly 24 inches in diameter can wind up weighing 4 tons. Professional tree removers are your best bet. They will have specialized equipment, experience, and know-how to take out the old tree safely.

If you need an arborist to remove a dead tree, consider our tree service professionals at Schneider Tree Care. Contact us for more information.