Signs of Tree Failure

tree failure

tree failureJohnson City, TN

Trees are beautiful to have on our property, but every homeowner assumes the responsibility of monitoring the trees and providing maintenance when needed. Unhealthy, overgrown or dead trees can be hazardous. It’s always best to catch an issue and deal with it early to prevent it from becoming a bigger problem — and possibly deadly — down the road.

But what are the early signs of a tree that’s failing? Our ISA-certified experts in Kingsport are answering that very question today. Read on for more.

What is tree failure?

When the structure of a tree, including its roots, trunk or canopy branches, is compromised — when it breaks or begins to deteriorate — it can result in a partial limb failure, or it can have complete and potentially catastrophic consequences.

Sometimes the signs of tree failure are evident, including cracks in limbs, reduced leaf production or areas where bark is no longer visible on the tree. Other signs, such as internal rot or a pest or fungal infestation, can be seen but could also make it hard to diagnose the tree’s core issue. In these cases, it’s best to check every part of the tree, and our Johnson City arborists are here to help you know what to look for.

On the ground

The easiest place to look for potential problems is on the ground. 

  • Mushrooms or Fungus It’s a little-known fact that mushrooms or fungus growing on or close to trees is a often sign of infection.
  • Sawdust or Disappearing Bark Wood-boring pests love trees that are deteriorating. If you notice sawdust on the ground or an area of a tree where it looks like bark could have been stripped or eaten off, you may have a pest infestation. Some pests make their homes in trees, feeding off of them and eventually killing them. Unfortunately, pests spread from one tree to another, so if you find a pest infestation in one tree on your property, all others should also be inspected.

In the structure

There are a few symptoms of failure that can be noted along the structure of the tree.

  • Cavities Do you notice swollen areas on the tree trunk where it looks as if a limb could have once been? It’s possible that’s exactly the cause. Cavities can be caused by a previous pruning incident or a previously failed or fallen limb. New growth may surround the wound, but the interior of the tree in that area could be compromised by decay.
  • Nesting Cavities Do you notice a small area in your tree structure where wildlife like birds and squirrels or even raccoons enter and exit? That means there’s a hole, or cavity, there, and cavities indicate possible decay.
  • Tree Limb Unions Do you spot any limbs that branch off into a number of other limbs from one union spot? This may point to limb failure.
  • Leaning Trees Top growth can weigh a tree down. This problem can usually be solved by simply pruning. In the canopy branches themselves, possible signs of failure include a decrease in leaf production or brittle limbs.

Arborists in Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, Tennessee

While some signs and symptoms of tree or limb failure are noticeable, it’s always best to have a trained, skilled eye take a look and diagnose your trees. Give our ISA-certified arborists at Promier Tree in the Tri-cities area a call at (423) 430-6270, or contact us online today.