Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Why Is Half of My Tree Dead?

Half of a tree dying from disease

Your half-dead tree can cause a significant accident or infect the rest of your yard if you are unaware of its cause. By first knowing why your tree is dying, you can take action that may save it from falling and causing significant damage to your property.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information about the causes and treatments for a tree that is half dead.

My Tree Is Dead on One Side

You may be asking, “How can a tree die on one side?” Several possibilities can lead to this condition, and all of them require immediate action. For deciduous and evergreens alike, consider the following causes and their treatments:

Tree Diseases

Verticillium Wilt – Verticillium wilt is caused by a fungus called Verticillium dahliae or another less common species, Verticillium albo-atrum. This soil-borne fungus germinates when plant or tree roots grow near it, infecting them through wounds or natural openings. The fungus spreads through the host’s vascular system and causes the plant cells to clog themselves. Once the xylem is infected, water can no longer reach the leaves because of the clogging.

Treatment: This disease is challenging to manage because it persists in the soil indefinitely. Infected trees that are not yet dead can sometimes survive the fungus. Dead or affected branches should be removed to help the tree regain its vigor. However, this disease can be transmitted on unsterilized pruning tools.

In cases where an entire side of a tree has succumbed to the disease, the tree should be removed before falling during a storm or unexpectedly.

Fusarium Wilt – Commonly found worldwide, Fusarium wilt is a soil-borne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum that enters its host through the roots and interferes with its water-conducting vessels. As the disease spreads into the stems and leaves, it restricts water and nutrient flow, causing the foliage to wilt and turn yellow.

Half of a tree dying from fusarium wilt disease

Treatment: Similar to Verticillium wilt, affected stems and branches should be removed. Fusarium wilt can also be treated with biological fungicides.

Phytophthora Root Rot – Many tree and shrub species are susceptible to Phytophthora root rot, developing root and/or crown rot, mainly if the soil around the base of the plant stays wet for long periods. The leaves of an infected tree will appear drought-stressed and may die quickly in late spring or early summer.

Treatment: You can combat Phytophthora root rot by increasing soil drainage, pruning out affected branches and stems, and by maintaining the root flare of the tree free from soil, mulch, and debris.

These diseases are easily transmitted from one host to the next by overhead watering or splashing, pruning activities with unsterile equipment, and improper disposal of infected clippings.

Environmental Causes of Tree Decline

Soil Compaction – Soil compaction occurs when heavy equipment, machinery, vehicles, or other factors lead to the compression of the soil surrounding a tree. Soil compaction reduces the amount of air, water, and nutrients available to tree and plant roots.

When tree roots on one side of a tree are impacted by soil compaction, an entire side or portion of the tree can wilt and die.

Treatment: Avoid parking, driving, or storing any vehicles or heavy equipment near or under any tree. Once the soil is compacted, a professional tree service should be hired to aerate the soil and monitor the health of the impacted tree.

Lightning – If it doesn’t blow it up, a lightning strike can severely compromise a tree’s vascular system by vaporizing the liquid within it. Depending on the location of the strike and how it travels through the tree, only a portion of it may be impacted.

Half of a tree dying from a lightning strike

Treatment: If you suspect that your tree has been struck by lightning, have a tree hazard assessment performed immediately to assess the need for treatment or removal. Read more about tree hazard assessments at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/

Surface Root Damage – Due to erosion, poor soil quality, or improper watering, tree roots may surface over time. When these roots are damaged or pruned, they are highly vulnerable to infection by opportunistic diseases like Fusarium, Verticillium, and Phytophthora.

Half of a tree dying from damaged and diseased surface roots

If surface roots on only one side of the root plate become infected, only a portion of the tree will likely display symptoms of infection, decline, or death.

Treatment: If the roots cannot be buried, they should be protected from damage by people or machinery. Once surface roots are damaged, a professional tree service should be called to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action.

Stem Girdling Roots – Stem girdling roots are dysfunctional roots that circle the stem (trunk), choking off the flow of nutrients and water between the roots and the rest of the tree. They can also compress and weaken the trunk of a tree at the root collar, causing it to lean and lose stability. Trees with stem girdling roots are at a significant risk of declining health, premature death, n and falling suddenly.

Treatment: Stem girdling roots can be removed by using saws or pruners if they have not caused extensive stem compression. If one has caused severe damage, removal treatment must include measures to avoid damaging the stem. These roots are frequently left in place when their removal cannot be performed safely. It may be necessary to consult with a professional tree service to determine what coarse of action to take.

Boring Insect Infestations

Boring insects like beetles can quickly cause the decline of a portion of a tree. As they burrow through the tree’s bark, they will sometimes begin channeling through the xylem and phloem. In other cases, they may burrow into the heartwood of the tree, carrying fungi with them that infect the tree and disturb the flow of water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the tree.

Half of a tree dying from boring insect infestation

While initial symptoms may only appear on one side of the tree, the tree will eventually succumb and die, as more beetles successfully attack the tree as it weakens.

Treatment: Once a tree has been successfully attacked by beetles, treatment is challenging and will likely result in the removal and destruction of the infected tree. Most treatments for beetles are preventative and include:

• Setting traps
• Treating the bark of un-infested trees
• Removal and disposal of infested trees

However, the most exceptional line of defense for a tree is its health. In the case of insects or diseases, healthy trees can resist infestations and infections. Help your tree by:

• Watering it regularly
• Proper seasonal pruning
• Mulching with organic material
• Fertilizing when necessary
• Having it inspected annually

Read more about tree cutting and pruning at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/right-time-cutting-pruning-emergency-tree-removal/

Half of My Tree is Dead

In this article, you discovered what can cause half of a tree to die and what actions to take to either treat the tree or have it removed.

By taking immediate action when you notice the decline of your tree or a portion of it, you increase the possibility of saving the tree and returning it to a healthy state.

When you ignore the symptoms of disease or infestation, your tree can rapidly decline and die. Trees left untreated are more likely to fall during storms, causing catastrophic damages when landing on property, vehicles, and people.

Sources:
mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/help-diseases/verticillium-wilt
missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/environmental/girdling.aspx
extension.psu.edu/phytophthora-root-rot-on-woody-ornamentals
extension.umn.edu/soil-management-and-health/soil-compaction
ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r280100811.html

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-is-half-of-my-tree-dead/

Monday, December 23, 2019

How To Protect Your Trees in Winter

Winter protection for snow and ice covered trees

Your young trees can suffer injuries and die during winter without proper protection. With some simple protective measures, you can ensure your trees come into their growing season healthy and thriving.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information about winter tree injury, its causes, and methods you can use to treat and prevent it.

Winter Tree Injury And Protection

Winter tree injury is the damage done to trees, shrubs, and plants (evergreen and deciduous alike) during the winter months. The more severe a winter season is, the more substantial the damage can be to your trees, shrubs, and plants. The following are some of the injuries that can occur and how they can be avoided or treated:

Dried Out Evergreen Foliage – Sun, wind, and cold temperatures can cause the bleaching and drying out of evergreen foliage. The following steps can lessen the effects:

• Make sure all of your evergreen trees and shrubs are frequently watered (two times per week – one being a deep watering), right up to the time the ground begins to freeze.
• Lay a three-inch-thick layer of organic mulch over the root plate of your trees and shrubs.
• Wrap your younger trees and shrubs with burlap. Especially those exposed to southwest sun or are unsheltered from the wind.

The Weight of Snow and Ice – Even for the hardiest of trees, when storm systems drop days of sleet and snow with temperatures rising above and falling below freezing, the results can be catastrophic. Under these conditions, snow and ice accumulate on evergreen foliage and deciduous tree limbs and branches.

The weight can break branches, damage foliage, and topple a tree. This problem is tricky to handle because it is NEVER recommended to “knock off” built-up ice or snow on a tree. You could cause a severe weight imbalance, destabilizing the tree, or cause a frozen limb to snap off and come crashing down on you.

Tree injury from ice and snow weight

One way to combat this issue is to promote the health of your trees by:

• Practicing aggressive pruning techniques in the fall to reduce surface space
• Watering your trees frequently throughout the year and increase the frequency during times of drought
• Mulching the root plate of your trees year-round
• Having your trees inspected annually for signs of disease and insect infestation.
• Promptly treating or removing diseased or infested trees and vegetation.

When you reduce or eliminate factors that could stress your trees, you give them a better chance to survive the winter months.

Tip: Rather than risking your life to try deicing a tree, call a professional tree care service to evaluate the situation, and recommend a safe course of action.

Southwest Injury or Sunscald – Similar to how evergreen foliage is damaged in the wintertime, southwest injury occurs on young unprotected trees in the following way:

• Temperatures fall below freezing at night and freeze the outer layers of a tree’s trunk
• The trunk remains frozen or near-frozen until sunlight coming from the southwest hits it
• This light warms and thaws the exposed part of the tree trunk
• The sun sets
• The temperature falls below freezing again and refreezes the trunk

Winter tree bark injury from sunscald

This freeze-thaw-freeze cycle ends up severely damaging the bark and inner tissues (xylem and phloem) of the tree. This damage appears as large sections of discolored, sunken, or cracked bark in the spring as the tree awakens and begins its growing season. Tree species that are highly susceptible to sunscald include:

• Birch
• Beech
• Maples
• Hickory
• Crape Myrtles
• Elms

Most trees in their youth are highly susceptible to sunscald, as they have yet to grow sufficient cork cells in their bark. Considered dead, cork cells contribute significantly to the protective qualities of a tree’s bark.

You can prevent sunscald by wrapping, painting, or covering your tree trunks in late fall or early winter. Young trees should be wrapped for the first three to four winter seasons after being planted or until they have surpassed four inches diameter at breast height.

You can find more information about southwest injury and splitting bark by reading toddsmariettatreeservices.com/tree-bark-splitting-can-i-fix-it/

Soil Heaving – Soil heaving is a severe threat to all trees, shrubs, and plants growing in your yard or landscape. More common in frigid climates, soil heaving occurs when:

• Soil freezes overnight and compresses
• Soil thaws during the day, decompressing and leaving openings in the ground
• Soil freezes and thaws over and over again, allowing more freezing air into the soil each time.

During these freezing and thawing cycles, there are two highly damaging effects taking place:

1. Freezing air is being allowed to penetrate the soil, freezing and/or killing roots
2. The expansion and contraction of the soil dislodges and “pushes up” roots.

Winter tree injury from soil heaving pushing roots to ground surface

Soil heaving can be prevented by applying a three-inch layer of organic mulch over the root plate of your trees and shrubs. The mulch will help regulate the soil temperature and moisture level.

You can find more information about mulching techniques by reading toddsmariettatreeservices.com/proper-mulching-techniques-around-trees/

Winter Drought – Winter drought occurs when little to no precipitation falls throughout the winter season. Simultaneously, soil desiccation occurs from intense sunlight, cold temperatures, and wind.

Through winter, tree roots are already working much more slowly than in other seasons. When you factor in the absence of moisture, you are left with a recipe that can kill or significantly damage the healthiest of trees.

You can fight winter drought by watering your trees and shrubs frequently throughout fall and mulching them with a three-inch layer of fresh organic mulch before winter sets in.

Tip: As long as the ground has not frozen, you can water your trees in winter.

Animal Damage – During the winter months, food becomes scarce for wildlife. Thus, some animals will resort to gnawing at the tender bark of young tree trunks, the lower limbs of trees, and in the case of deer, use their antlers to attack the trunk.

Winter tree protection from wildlife grazing

To prevent animal damage or attacks, you can erect a protective barrier around the tree, or use repellant sprays, applied to the bark, that irritate their sense of smell.

Learn more about preventing tree threats by reading toddsmariettatreeservices.com/3-tree-threat-prevention-tips/

Note: If you have volcano mulched your tree, squirrels, and other rodents may use the base of the tree as a nest, gnaw at the root flare, and potentially girdle your tree.

Winter Injury to Evergreen and Deciduous Trees

In this article, you discovered what winter tree injury is, the many ways in which it can occur, and how you can take steps to treat and prevent it.

By taking proactive measures to prevent winter injury, you are providing your trees with a better opportunity to grow and thrive during their growing seasons.

Leaving your trees exposed to the elements, you run a real risk of them developing conditions that attract disease and insect infestations that may lead to their decline and eventual death.

Sources:
extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/protecting-trees-and-shrubs-winter
americanforests.org/magazine/article/the-language-of-bark/
tcia.org/TCIA/Blog_Items/2016/Common_Winter_Tree_Care_Issues.aspx
blogs.oregonstate.edu/treetopics/2019/01/04/drought-in-winter-what-and-ways-to-adapt-to-drier-times/
purduelandscapereport.org/article/preparations-to-prevent-southwest-injury/

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-protect-your-trees-winter/

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

My Tree Bark is Splitting – Can I Fix it?

Southwest winter injury causing splitting and peeling bark

Don’t let your tree die from disease and insect infestations when its bark splits. Treating your tree quickly after its bark splits is essential to its health and vigor.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why tree bark splits or cracks and what you can do to prevent it or treat it.

What Causes Tree Bark Splitting

Tree bark can split or crack for many reasons, and you cannot fix it. You can protect your tree while it compartmentalizes the damage and protect others by taking preventative measures.

While it is a more common occurrence on younger trees, all trees are susceptible to bark splitting when exposed to the following:

Sunscald (Southwest Winter Injury) – In the winter months, the south and southwest sides of young trees are prone to sunscald. This condition occurs on warm winter days when the bark exposed to the sun heats up substantially and is then exposed to freezing temperatures. This super-heating, followed by super-cooling, frequently causes the death of the inner-bark.

Splitting tree bark from winter injury

Such injuries only become visible during the spring growing season and appear as sunken or discolored bark, which splits and may fall off in patches. This damage presents an avenue for pests and diseases to attack the tree successfully.

This condition may also occur on the trunk and branches of mature trees if they were heavily pruned in the fall.

Sunscald Treatment:

When you detect that your tree is suffering from sunscald, treatment involves letting the tree work to heal itself. Damaged areas of the bark or limbs should not be filled with a sealer or painted.

Splitting tree bark from southwest winter injury and sunscald

Lightly trimming the wound (tracing the injury with a sharp knife) to help the tree compartmentalize the exposed area and wrapping the damaged area with a light-colored tree wrap can help accelerate the healing process.

Sunscald Prevention:

Protecting trees from sunscald is incredibly easy and inexpensive. All available measures include keeping the trunk and lower limbs either insulated or shaded in winter. The following are some of those measures:

• Plant the tree in an area shaded by structures in the late afternoon
• Use white-colored tree wraps (white reflects sunlight and prevents bark overheating)
• Plant evergreen trees or shrubs to shade the southwest side of your trees

Frost Cracks – The conditions that cause frost cracks are similar to those that cause sunscald. This condition occurs in late winter and early spring as water contained in the phloem, xylem, wood, and inner bark expands and contracts while repeatedly freezing and thawing with fluctuating temperatures.

The resulting injury to the tree appears as a crack in the bark, potentially reaching several feet in length.

Frost Crack Treatment:

Similar to sunscald, no sealant should be used to dress the resulting wound, and a light-colored tree wrap can be used to protect the wound while the tree heals itself.

Frost Crack Prevention:

Frost cracks are often the result of previous damage to the tree or off-season growth. Use the following measures to reduce the risk of frost crack injuries:

• Protect your tree trunks and branches from injury at all times
• Fertilize in late fall or early spring (do not fertilize during summer and early fall months)
• Conduct pruning activities in late fall and winter months

Like fertilizing, pruning entices a tree to grow. Spring and summer pruning may result in growth that will not have time to properly harden for winter months and become highly susceptible to frost cracks.

Environmental Conditions (Drought) – Bark splitting can also be caused by long periods of drought, followed by exceptionally wet periods of growth.

Splitting tree bark from long periods of drought

The longer trees suffer scarce water conditions, the thirstier they will get, and the less flexible they will become. When that dry period is followed by excessively wet conditions, trees (especially young trees) will over-satiate their hydraulic systems, often resulting in “bloating.” As the tree bloats, pressure builds against the hardened inner bark and may split the bark if that pressure becomes too high.

Bark Splitting Treatment:

As this condition typically occurs during the growth cycle of a tree, protecting the resulting wounds from insect infestation and disease is essential. Recommended treatment measures are identical to those for sunscald.

Bark Splitting Prevention:

During periods of drought, the following measures will help your trees maintain their elasticity and remain hydrated:

• Apply a three to six-inch layer of organic mulch from the tree’s root flare to the edge of the canopy (this covers and regulates the moisture for the root plate)
• Provide two to three deep waterings per week (deep waterings allow water to soak ten to fifteen-inches into the soil)
• Do not prune your tree after periods of drought. Allow time for them to recover fully
• Fertilize sparingly and only in late fall to prevent untimely growth

Herbicides (Glyphosate Products) – Weed killers may be doing more than killing your weeds. Bark splitting on the south and southwest face of trees from freezing and thawing patterns may be caused by the glyphosate herbicides that you are using to combat pesky weeds.

When these herbicides are applied directly to tree bark (accidentally or purposefully), applied too frequently in the vicinity of trees, or used in overly high doses on the surrounding landscape, the glyphosate in the products deteriorates the inner bark structure while eliminating the winter hardiness of the trees (especially young trees).

How to Prevent Glyphosate Damage:

• Use a herbicide containing no adjuvant (wetting agent)
• Use correct dosages (do not overspray)
• Maintain a thirty to forty-foot no-spray zone between the weeds you spray and your trees
• Do not use herbicides to treat tree suckers (the roots will carry the herbicide to the tree)
• Reduce the use of glyphosate by integrating other methods of weed removal

Splitting tree bark from over application of glyphosate herbicides

All herbicides are accompanied by benefits and risks. By following the instructions on the label, you can maximize the benefits while reducing the risks.

Preventing Bark Splitting

In this article, you discovered what causes tree bark to split, what you can do to treat it, and ways to prevent the condition.

By taking preventative measures to protect your trees through winter months and from harmful chemicals, your trees can mature with higher resistance to insect infestation and disease.

When you ignore signs of bark splitting or cracking, you are leaving your tree highly vulnerable to a rapid decline in its health and potential death.

Sources:
cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/sunscald2017.html
extension.usu.edu/archive/bark-splitting-caused-by-common-herbicide
plantclinic.cornell.edu/factsheets/barksplitting.pdf
extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/SP630.pdf

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/tree-bark-splitting-can-i-fix-it/

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Why Do I Need a Tree Hazard Assessment

Hazard assessment to prevent tree damage or failure during severe weather

Don’t let your trees threaten your property or life as they destabilize during severe weather. Regular tree assessments and preventative measures can help your trees survive severe storm conditions intact.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why trees need regular hazard assessments, what is examined during an evaluation, the types of damages trees suffer in different storms, and preventative measures you can take.

Tree Hazard Assessments – Emergency and Storm Safety

Tree hazard (or tree risk) assessments provide crucial information to the surveyor and the homeowner about the health and stability of the trees being surveyed. These assessments are used in determining:

• The overall health and stability of a tree
• Whether a tree will remain stable during severe weather events
• If the tree poses an infestation or disease threat to surrounding trees
• If the tree is a threat to surrounding structures or people
• A course of action including pruning or removal

The older your trees become, the more they require hazard assessments. As trees age, they become more massive, less flexible, and in many cases, more susceptible to disease and infestations.

Just as necessary is the assessment of the soil where the tree is rooted, soil erosion can become a significant problem for a tree’s stability. This erosion can cause the root plate to lift during the slightest of winds resulting in an emergency, and the toppling of an otherwise healthy tree.

Without these assessments, your trees can develop irreversible damages from diseases, infestations, girdling, compacted soil, and many other conditions (detected in an assessment) that weaken the tree. All it takes is one severe storm to bring down a weakened tree and cause catastrophic damages.

Follow the link for signs and symptoms of a troubled tree toddsmariettatreeservices.com/troubled-tree-signs-symptoms/

Hazard assessment for diseased or dying trees

What is a Tree Hazard Assessment?

Tree hazard assessments happen when a tree professional or certified arborist physically survey the overall health and stability of a tree. A typical assessment looks for the following:

• Signs of disease
• Signs of infestation
• Abnormal growth habits
• Leaning
• Dead, missing, or damaged bark
• Cracks
• Lightning damage
• Balance and density of the crown
• Dead twigs or branches
• Mushroom conks
• Cankers

These examinations are comprehensive and include assessments of:

• Cut or damaged surface roots
• Lifting of the root plate
• Soil conditions and/or erosion
• Soil compaction
• Pavement over roots
• Topography
• Surrounding structures (targets)
• Typical weather for the location
• Wind exposure
• Vines and other potentially harmful plant species

When a tree professional or arborist performs a tree hazard assessment, he is looking for anything about the tree, its root plate, or environment that could be alarming. Read toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-identify-tree-emergency/ for some warning signs and things to look for that indicate a potential tree emergency, and call an arborist or professional tree service if you suspect something is wrong.

Disaster Tree Damage Caused by Storms

Tree hazard assessments take into account the weather patterns common to the tree’s location. Different elements of weather impact trees differently and may require specific actions to prevent irreversible damages to the tree. The following are some of the weather conditions that can cause a weakened tree to topple and preventative measures:

Tree hazard assessment to prevent property damage during storms

Wind – When wind speeds are high, they can impose tremendous force on a tree. During hurricanes or tornadoes, trees may be stripped of their leaves and branches. These winds are capable of twisting, breaking, and uprooting trees. Also, during major storms, debris may debark the tree requiring its removal after the storm.

Course of action: Promote the health of the tree by fertilizing, mulching, and pruning. Provide deep watering to promote deep root growth, and hire a professional tree service to thin out the crown, reducing the tree’s wind-resistance.

You can also create wind diversions by planting shrubs upwind from your trees or by installing fences along your property line.

Flooding – Erosion caused by flooding can be devastating to all plant life. Floods typically result in the complete saturation of the ground and can quickly destabilize the roots of the oldest and strongest of trees.

Course of action: Plant trees on elevated land and reconfigure your landscaping to facilitate water runoff from your property.

Promote the health of your trees by fertilizing, mulching, and pruning. When floods are caused by storm surge, it is the health of your tree and the depth of its roots that will help determine whether it topples or not.

Lightning – By their height, trees are a common target for lightning. Your tree’s bark may be blown off or scars left on the trunk when the electricity is conducted along the outside of the tree. When the electrical charge penetrates the tree trunk, the moisture within the trunk may be converted to vapor and cause the tree to explode.

The most susceptible trees to lightning strikes are poplars, pines, oaks, and elms.

Course of action: Install lightning rods on your property and to the top of your home to divert lightning from your trees.

Ice – Winter snow or ice storms may deposit ice on the foliage and branches of your tree. The weight of accumulated ice on a tree together with wind can break branches or cause the tree to fall.

Hazard assessment to prevent tree damage or collapse under snow and ice weight

Trees resistant to ice damage include oaks, beech, birch, and American hornbeam.

Course of action: As always, maintain the health of your tree throughout its growing season. In the fall, have your trees pruned, and crowns thinned to reduce the potential of ice accumulation.

In some cases, storms can unleash tremendous amounts of rain, wind, flooding, etc. that can bring down weakened and healthy trees alike. However, annual hazard assessments allow you to take actions that minimize damages to your trees and property when they fall.

Tree Health and Hazard Assessments

In this article, you discovered the importance of tree hazard assessments, what tree professionals look for during an assessment, what damages are caused by storms, and what you can do to help your trees through storms.

By scheduling annual tree hazard assessments, you create the possibility to catch and reverse potential threats to your tree’s health. These assessments also enable you to remove trees that can cause catastrophic damages when toppling in storms.

If you neglect to have hazard assessments performed, infestations, soil compaction, or disease may weaken your tree to the point where it falls during a weather event. Thus, endangering your property, home, and life.

Sources:
http://gatrees.org/community-forests/management/trees-storm-safety/storm-preparation/index.cfm
https://www.southernforests.org/urban/trees-and-storm-safety

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/

Monday, September 23, 2019

How to Stake a Leaning Tree

Staking young trees to avoid weather damage

Your leaning tree can fall, causing catastrophic and life-threatening damages. By staking your tree, you can help it re-establish itself, prevent its death, and eliminate the danger of it falling.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why trees lean, how to properly stake them, and when tree removal may be necessary.

Why Trees Lean

Before taking action to stake or brace a tree, it’s helpful to understand the reasons why trees may lean in different stages of their growth.

The following require staking, bracing, or cabling and can be halted or reversed:

• The tree was planted off-center.
• The tree may be leaning towards the sun.
• The root ball has shifted in unsteady soil.
• Constant wind has shaped the tree to curve or has moved its center of gravity.
• The tree was struck by a vehicle or heavy machinery.
• Neighboring support trees were removed.
• The crown is off-center from poor pruning practices.

The following are irreversible and may require the immediate removal of the tree:

• An earthquake, floodwater, rockslide, or landslide has caused the root plate to destabilize and fail.
• Roots are failing due to rot from disease or poorly-drained soil.
• The tree trunk cracked.

As trees reach maturity, they can weigh from 2,000 to 20,000 pounds. When that weight becomes off-centered, and the tree begins to lean, quick action is required to prevent a fall with potentially deadly results.

Tree bracing and support for uneven crown or leaning tree

Read How to Identify a Tree Emergency, and if you have a mature tree threatening to fall, call a tree professional to evaluate the immediate risk and lay out a course of action.

Tree Support Systems to Prevent or Stop Their Leaning

Support systems for young and leaning trees change as trees mature. The following are different systems used at various stages of tree development:

Planted as a Seedling – For the first 6 months to one year, the tree should be protected from the elements and wildlife by a chickenwire encircling enclosure, lined with burlap on the upwind side.

Transplanted Trees – Bare root and rootball transplants are highly susceptible to the elements until their root system extends and forms a firm root plate. These trees should be staked for 1 to 2 years while this process takes place.

Young trees planted as seedlings should be staked once they outgrow their protective enclosures to prevent leaning or severe weather damage.

To accomplish this:

1. Drive two 8 foot stakes 2 feet into the ground on either side of the tree trunk (about 1 1/2 feet from the trunk on each side).
2. Tie or attach a piece of burlap or other soft material – looped around the trunk – to each of the stakes. There should be enough slack for the tree to sway 3 to 6 inches in all directions before the material tightens around the trunk.
3. If wildlife is an issue, surround the tree with chicken wire using the stakes as a harness.
4. While a tree is staked, check the bark where any contact is made frequently. If damage or wear is detected, move the material up or down on the stakes.

Tree stake tether with slack for natural trunk movement

Never tie or attach anything to trees being staked. Besides bark damage, the tree could end up girdled or sawed through if there is constant friction.

This staking method is highly effective until the trunk reaches a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 4.5 to 6 inches, at which point stronger measures are required.

Trees with a DBH >6 inches – When trees reach this size, they are heavy enough to cause severe to catastrophic damage if brought down during a storm or fall from their own weight. If they begin to lean, take the following actions immediately:

Leaning tree crown thinning to establish center of gravity

• Prune the tree to reset its balance or center of gravity.
• Cabling the tree can relieve pressure from branches, causing a redistribution of weight and stress within the crown.
• Anchor the tree to stop or reverse the lean by:

1. Driving a 5-foot heavy-duty iron stake into the ground 8 to 10 feet opposite the direction of the lean (this stake will be supporting tremendous weight).
2. Attach a cable rated for 1,400 to 1,960 pounds to the stake equipped with a turnbuckle or winching device, and loop the other end around the tree trunk above the first branches.
3. Use foam or rubber as a cushion to prevent the cable from directly contacting the tree’s bark.
4. Tighten the turnbuckle until the cable is firm. Then further tighten the cable every other day.
5. This process can last weeks and be successful provided there are no underlying issues with root rot or disease.
6. Call a professional to evaluate the state of the tree and offer guidance.

In all of the above situations, a tree professional should be called to evaluate the tree, determine why it is leaning, and what actions to take.

Staking Leaning Trees

Trees lean for different reasons, but there are various support systems to be used at different stages of the development of a tree.

In this article, you discovered why trees lean, how to stake or secure them properly, and when tree removal becomes necessary.

When your tree begins to lean, it is telling you something is wrong. Don’t procrastinate and allow a leaning tree to fall on your home or loved ones.

Sources:
gatrees.org/community-forests/ask-the-arborist/LeaningTrees-Whatsupwiththat.pdf
hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/cabling.shtml

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-stake-leaning-tree/

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Mushrooms on a Tree Trunk Means Your Tree is Dying

Mushrooms growing on tree trunks from heart rot and root rot

Do you have mushroom conks growing out of your tree trunk? Don’t mistake these fungi as a regular thing, they are a grim sign that your tree is dying or already dead.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why mushrooms grow on tree trunks and the immense danger they represent.

Mushrooms Growing on a Tree

Mushrooms are a common sight in fertile garden soil, healthy landscapes, on outdoor woodpiles, and fallen trees. This may contribute to the misplaced sense of normalcy when you see them growing on tree trunks or root flares.

You should be alarmed when you see mushroom conks on a tree:

• Mushroom conks are the reproductive part of fungi.
• Fungi require rotting organic material to thrive.
• When mushroom conks grow on the trunk of a tree, it is a sign of rot within the tree.
• When mushrooms grow from a tree’s root flare or on surface roots, it is a sign of root rot.

Mushrooms growing on tree root flare indicate root rot

By the time mushroom conks appear on a tree trunk or root flare, the responsible fungus has already caused severe damage to the host tree.

Signs of a Fungal Tree Disease

Your tree may be succumbing to a fungal disease without the immediate appearance of mushroom conks. The following signs of disease may precede the presence of these reproductive bodies:

• Dieback occurring on one side or throughout the crown.
• Early leaf drop.
• Stunted leaf growth
• Severe wilting or drooping of the tree’s foliage.
• Chlorosis (leaves lose their vibrant green color) of the tree’s foliage.
• Branches and twigs die and become brittle.
• Cankers appear on branches and the trunk.
• The tree may begin to lean.
• Carpenter ants nesting in the trunk or limbs.
• Boring insects successfully attacking and infesting the tree.

Wilted tree foliage indicating severe fungal infection

If one or a combination of these symptoms are present in your tree, hire an arborist to evaluate the tree and recommend a course of action.

Tree Fungus Types and Identification

Many types of fungi grow on trees. Some of those fungi are harmless to a mature tree, while others signal certain decline and eventual death. Take the following fungi, for example:

Lichens – A lichen is a symbiotic relationship between algae and a fungus, and poses little to no threat to a tree. Lichens come in many shapes, sizes, and colors but appear most commonly as a low, flat, crusty, greenish substance branching out like a doily.

Lichens growing on tree trunk exterior

Lichens do not penetrate tree bark; they attach themselves and spread along the surface. This organism may grow on trees, cement pathways, park benches, brick structures, windows, etc.

Powdery mildew – This fungal disease affects the foliage of various trees and plants. Powdery mildew diseases can be caused by many different fungal species from the order Erysiphales. These fungi appears as a white powdery covering of foliage and stems. It is rarely fatal to mature trees unless widespread infection weakens the tree, allowing subsequent infections and insect infestations.

Powdery mildew growing on tree leaves

Polyporus Alveolaris – This is a species of fungus in the genus Polyporus, and poses a significant risk to trees. It causes white rot in dead and decaying hardwoods. Commonly growing on decaying logs and rotting trees, conks of this species have a yellowish to orange scaly cap and hexagonal or diamond-shaped pores. This species of fungus is widespread across North America.

Ganoderma Applanatum – Rot caused by this fungus may take several years to kill a tree but makes the tree very susceptible to secondary infections, infestations, and wind-throw. The shelf-like fruiting structure forms at or near the soil line. It appears brown to reddish-brown on top with a white-colored margin. The underside of the shelf contains millions of pores in which spores are formed.

Mushrooms on tree trunks ganoderma applanatum fruiting structure

Ganoderma Lucidum – This species causes root rot and forms a shelf-like structure on the wood similar to that of Ganoderma Applanatum. Fruiting structures occur singly or in clusters and have a varnished appearance.

Armillaria – Fungi from this genus cause Armillaria root rot on many species of conifers and hardwoods. The mushroom is a fleshy, firm, honey-colored conk growing in clusters of up to 100 or more. The cap of the mushroom can reach from 1.5 to 6 inches in diameter with a depressed center.

Mushrooms on tree trunks armillaria mellea

Laetiporus Sulfureus – Signs of this fungus include massive clusters of bright, yellow to salmon or bright orange shelf-like conks that turn white with and fall off as they age. The underside of the conk has millions of pores in which spores are formed. These conks appear long after the damage has occurred. Infected trees are prone to wind breakage long before the fungus forms its fruiting structures and should be removed when an infection is confirmed.

Laetiporus sulphureus mushrooms on dying tree trunk

How a Tree Fungus Spreads

Fungi are spread easily from tree to tree by the following means:

Spores – Millions of spores can be produced and released by a single fruiting structure or conk. These spores can be spread by:

• Wind
• Splashing Water
• Rain

Mushroom fruiting structure and spores on tree trunks

Human Activity – Handling diseased plants and trees with gardening tools and pruning equipment, then using those “infected” tools on healthy plants and trees.

Tree Fungus Treatment

The most recommended method of treatment for trees against fungal infections is prevention. By promoting the healthy growth and proper seasonal pruning of your trees, they can resist infections and infestations that can lead to disease.

However, once a fungus infects a tree, the tree cannot be fully cured. Treatments that stop the progression of the disease, allowing the tree to compartmentalize it, can be applied to restore your tree’s health.

Steps you can take to prevent fungal infections include:

• Ensuring proper drainage of the soil around your trees.
• Avoid overwatering your trees.
• Mulch your trees to maintain optimal levels of moisture and ground temperature.
• Apply fungicides like neem oil to tree bark and surface roots.
• Sanitize pruning and gardening tools between trees.
• Fertilize your trees in late winter or early spring as they enter the growing season.
• Have your trees and landscape inspected annually by an arborist.

Sanitized pruning equipment to avoid disease contamination

To avoid widespread infections or catastrophic tree falls, have your trees inspected at the first sign of trouble. The earlier you address fungal infections, the easier it is to treat them.

Tree Fungi and Conks on Trees

When mushroom conks grow on your tree trunk or root flare, there is a grave problem within your tree that must be addressed. Otherwise, a potentially catastrophic tree fall may occur.

In this article, you discovered the signs of fungal tree diseases, types, and identification of fungi, how they propagate and spread, and how to treat them.

Your slow reaction to the signs of fungal infections on your tree may result in the loss of the tree. The tree may eventually fall on your vehicle, home, or causing severe physical injury to people.

Sources:
extension.psu.edu/tree-diseases-that-create-hazards
ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74109.html

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/mushrooms-on-trunk-means-your-tree-dying/

Monday, July 22, 2019

Reasons Your Tree Changing Colors in Spring or Summer is a Bad Sign

Distressed tree changing colors and dying

Is your tree changing color when it should be green? Tree foliage will change color for several reasons. Some of those reasons may lead to the death of the tree, while others are merely seasonal.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on why trees change color, and when a color change signals severe problems with trees.

Deciduous vs. Evergreen Trees

In a very general sense, trees may be classified in one of two categories; deciduous or evergreen. When their foliage changes color, it can be interpreted as:

Deciduous Trees – A deciduous tree keeps its green color throughout spring and summer. During autumn, its leaves will change from green to vibrant yellow, orange, red, or purple before falling to the ground.

This color change occurs as the days shorten and temperatures drop. As the leaves cease their food making process, the chlorophyll breaks down, the green color fades away, and so begins the fall color change and leaf drop spectacle.

Leaf color change on deciduous trees in fall

This process also enables the tree to conserve energy as it prepares to enter dormancy throughout late autumn and winter.

Evergreen Trees – As the name suggests, these trees remain green throughout the year. Typically, they will drop small amounts of foliage as new growth takes its place during the spring and summer months.

While healthy evergreen trees slow down considerably during autumn and winter months, they retain their foliage and green color.

Diseased, Infested, and Dying Trees

When a deciduous tree changes color during spring or summer months, or an evergreen changes color at any time, there is cause for concern. One or a combination of the following may be causing the tree to decline in health or die:

Drought – Drought conditions can happen any time throughout the year, and trees viscerally respond to hydraulic failure.

When there is a lack of water within a tree, the entire crown may be affected in the following ways:

• Chlorosis (loss of color) of the foliage
• Wilting
• Premature leaf drop
• Hardening of branches and twigs
• Self-pruning (shedding of entire branches)

If a regular water supply is not restored to the tree at the onset of drought symptoms, the tree will likely die.

Solution: Maintain a watering pattern throughout the year, increasing the frequency during dry stretches and decreasing during rainy seasons.

Root Rot – Excess water may deprive tree roots of getting the air that they need, leading to decay. To avoid root rot, it is best to only water trees when the soil becomes dry, and to plant the tree in well-drained soil.

Symptoms of root rot are very similar to those of drought, including chlorosis, and premature leaf drop, as both ailments cause hydraulic failure within the tree.

Tree leaf chlorosis and death from disease stress

One of the significant differences between drought and root rot is the destabilization of a tree affected by root rot. Without firm roots to anchor the tree, the lightest of storm activity may cause it to topple.

Solution: Avoid overwatering trees and plants located in poorly drained soil. If root rot has already occurred, contact a tree service professional to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action.

Heart Rot – Trees are susceptible to heart-rotting fungi that produce a lightweight, soft, spongy, stringy, or powdery heart decay. Signs that a tree is rotting from the inside are:

• Leaf chlorosis
• Wilting
• Premature leaf drop
• Dead and brittle branches
• Mushroom conks growing from the trunk
• Bark abnormalities (swelling, deep cracks, or holes)

While trees are very good at compartmentalizing (isolating) damaged or diseased portions of themselves, some fungi can cause massive amounts of potentially fatal damage before the tree can react.

Solution: The following will help a tree avoid heart rot:

• Promote the tree’s health (watering, pruning, fertilizing, mulching)
• Prune in late fall or early winter
• Avoid bark damage
• Remove storm-damaged branches

Trees with symptoms of heart rot should be evaluated and treated or removed by a tree service professional, as soon as possible to avoid severe damages should the tree topple or collapse.

If your tree is dying, learn more about what you can do at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/my-tree-is-dying-what-do-i-do/

Anthracnose – Anthracnose can attack a tree (fruit trees are more susceptible) at any stage of its growth and can affect leaves, stems, pods, fruits, and roots. The symptoms of anthracnose are:

• Small irregular yellow, brown, or black spots that expand and merge together on foliage. Severe infections can affect entire portions of the crown.
• Cankers on stems and branches that cause extreme defoliation and rotting of fruit and roots.
• Fruits develop sunken circular spots that darken with age, eventually producing gelatinous pink spore masses.

Signs and symptoms of anthracnose tree disease

Solution: The following can help prevent an anthracnose infection:

• Promote your tree’s health (watering, pruning, fertilizing, mulching)
• Transplant only healthy seedlings
• Remove and destroy infected tree parts
• Harvest unripe but mature fruits
• Plants species that are resistant to anthracnose disease
• Keep the landscape free of weeds

If your tree has become severely infected with anthracnose, the best containment of the disease may be the complete removal and destruction of the tree. Hire a tree service professional to evaluate the tree’s situation, and risk to surrounding vegetation before deciding on a course of action.

You can learn more about tree diseases and treatment at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/5-marietta-ga-tree-diseases-identification-treatment/

Insect Infestation – Severe infestations by honeydew-producing aphids, leaf-consuming caterpillars, trunk burrowing beetles, and other opportunistic insects can lead to a tree being overstressed and dying. Symptoms of an insect infestation may include:

• Chlorosis of the foliage of a portion of or the entire crown
• Wilting and leaf drop
• Damaged or eaten foliage
• The appearance of sooty mold on infested foliage
• The presence of ants (colonizing and tending to aphids)
• Severe premature leaf drop
• Burrowed circular holes in branch or trunk bark

Tree leaf damage from insect infestation

Solution: Upon detection of an insect infestation, the infected and surrounding trees should be treated and protected with:

• Insect traps (tree bands, ant traps, beetle traps, etc.)
• Neem oil spray
• Insecticide

In cases where beetles and other burrowing insects are involved, a tree service professional should be contracted to survey the tree, property, and surrounding landscape to attempt to gain full control over the infestation.

Climbing Vines – If left uncontrolled, climbing vines are capable of ascending to the top of a tree and spreading across its crown. As the vine spreads its foliage, it absorbs the sunlight otherwise intended for the tree, leading to the following:

• Leaf chlorosis
• Wilting
• Premature leaf drop
• Nutrient deficiency (weakened health)

Climbing vines can girdle and kill trees

When vines take over the canopy of a tree, you may see green, healthy foliage (from the vine) mixed with wilting or dying foliage (from the tree). As the tree weakens, it will become susceptible to insect infestation and disease, compounding its health decline and hastening its death.

Solution: Sever the vine from its root system near the ground and let it die off. However, don’t try to remove the vine from the tree. As the vine was climbing, it anchored to the tree’s bark, any attempt to pull the vine down may severely damage the bark, resulting in the girdling of the tree.

To learn more on how to save your tree from clinging vines, read toddsmariettatreeservices.com/saving-trees-clinging-vines/

Trees Changing Colors

Is your tree turning yellow or brown when it’s supposed to be green? There are several reasons that trees will change color, and many of those reasons may indicate serious problems that can kill the tree.

In this article, you discovered why trees change color in the fall, and problems that may lead them to change color and suffer leaf drop in the spring or summer months.

While it is normal for deciduous trees to change color in the fall, ignoring an off-season color change or leaf drop can lead to the death of your tree.

Sources:
https://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/leaves/leaves.htm
https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/chlorosis/
http://www.oisat.org/pests/diseases/fungal/anthracnose.html
https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/be_careful_where_you_spray_that_stuff

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/reasons-tree-changing-colors-spring-summer-bad-sign/