Trees have a relatively long lifespan, with some species living for 50 years and others living for centuries. When a tree dies, it will begin to lose its structural stability while dropping its branches.
This can create a dangerous scenario for homeowners and their property, which is why it’s important to monitor dying trees. Here are some of the tell-tale signs of a dead tree.
Ants Around Trunk
If you come across a tree on your property that you believe is dead, inspect the trunk for signs of carpenter ants. It’s not uncommon for carpenter ants and other insects to feast on dead and decaying tree trunks.
When this occurs, you’ll see sawdust around the base of the trunk – the result of carpenter ants chewing through it.
Another tell-tale sign of a dead tree is peeling bark. As you may already know, bark serves as the “skin” for a tree, protecting it from weather and plant-eating animals.
Trees that are dead or dying will begin to shed their bark, causing it to peel off. Peeling bark also indicates that the tree is not getting enough nutrients, so even if it’s not dead, it may be headed that way.
Inspect your tree for signs of fungus, as this may indicate that it’s dead. This is particularly true in the case of large fungus, such as the bracket fungus (wood conchs). Large fungus colonies around the trunk could mean the roots are decaying.
Dead trees have a tendency to drop branches more frequently than living, healthy trees. When a tree dies, it begins to lose its moisture content, causing it to dry out and eventually rot.
Subsequently, this prevents branches from being able to hold themselves up, at which point they fall to the ground. If you are forced to frequently pick up branches around the base of your tree, there’s a good chance that it’s either dead or dying.
What Should I Do?
Homeowners should not leave a dead or dying tree on their property. Even if stays upright for months or even years to come, there’s always the possibility of a strong wind blowing it over.
Furthermore, falling branches could injure someone if they happened to be underneath the tree at the wrong time. Have dead and dying trees professionally removed from your property to prevent incidents such as this.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or