Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Self-Pruning Trees (Cladoptosis)

Cladoptosis or self pruning trees can cause the sudden drop of limbs on structures and vehicles

Avoid catastrophic property damage or serious injury when your tree sporadically drops a branch. By knowing why and how this happens, you can take the preemptive steps to stop it from disrupting your life and property.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com defines what self-pruning is, how it happens, why it happens, and which tree species are more likely to do it.

What is Self-Pruning

Self-pruning or cladoptosis is a compartmentalization process involving the shedding of shaded, diseased, or infested branches that have become a drain or a burden on a tree’s resources.

Further defined, this is nature’s way of letting a tree determine which branches need to go, rather than an arborist or a property owner making the decision for it.

Note: On wooded land, self-pruning is a common occurrence, especially in densely populated stands where there is not sufficient sunlight for trees to keep all of their branches. Branches low on tree trunks will likely die from shading and competition, occurring over several growing seasons.

How Self-Pruning Happens

Self-pruning occurs the same way fall foliage, shoots, and twigs are shed from a deciduous tree. As it does with leaves, ripe fruit, flowers, and seeds, a tree will form an abscission layer where the branch connects to the trunk (at the branch collar) and shed the branch cleanly.

Why Self-Pruning Happens

Several reasons can cause a tree to self-prune. Consider the following possibilities:

  • A branch is too shaded and cannot sufficiently photosynthesize
  • Poor pruning has left the canopy too dense, obstructing light from its reaching inner branches
  • Disease has infected the branch causing its decline or hydraulic failure
  • The branch has become infested, triggering self-pruning as the tree’s defensive measure
  • Climbing vines have blocked sufficient sunlight in the canopy to trigger cladoptosis
Cladoptosis or self pruning trees can suffer stress from climbing vines that create conditions for a tree to shed limbs

Self-pruning is more prevalent in dense forests, orchards, more mature trees, and landscape areas that have been over-planted.

Basically, when a tree branch cannot sufficiently photosynthesize (due to a lack of sunlight) or has triggered an infection or infestation response, the tree can spring into action and self-prune the branch.

Regarding shaded branches, how long one survives will vary among tree species and its degree of shade tolerance. Shade tolerance relates to the capacity of a tree species to compete and thrive under shaded conditions. Shade-tolerant species like American beech and eastern hemlock are More proficient at balancing photosynthesis and respiration when growing with severely limited light.

Cladoptosis or self pruning beech trees shed branches when they no longer provide photosynthesis or nutrients to support the limb

Sometimes, the death of a branch does not necessarily ensure its shedding. Although the tree shuts the branch off from water and nutrients, depending on the species, it won’t sever it. In these cases, the tree enlists outside help. These dead branches persist until further weakened by fungi, insects, animals, wind, snow, ice, or gradual decay. At some point, the branch will weaken and fall from its own weight.

Note: In well-kept yards and landscapes, dead, dying, and diseased branches are usually pruned away before cladoptosis can take place.

Trees That Self-Prune

Self-pruning is more prevalent in the fall, and as your trees age, they are more likely to shed more limbs. The following species are known to self-prune, and can do it without warning:

  • Ashes
  • Aspen
  • Birch
  • Cherries
  • Cypress
  • Elms
  • Eucalyptus
  • Larches
  • Maples
  • Oaks
  • Pecans
  • Pines
  • Poplars
  • Walnut
  • Willow
Cladoptosis or self pruning trees aspens shed branches leaving black spots resembling eyes

While it is good practice to remove limbs that grow over your home or other structures, it is necessary to remove them if you have a tree species known to self-prune.

How To Prevent Trees from Self-Pruning

Even with the best care and attention to the needs of your tree, you may not be entirely successful at preventing it from self-pruning. However, the following will help you slow this natural process:

Tree Health – From the time your tree is planted, you should provide it with:

  • Water (two to three waterings per week and more often during drought conditions)
  • Soil (test frequently to adjust nutrient levels and soil pH)
  • Mulch (to protect the root plate and regulate soil temperature); click here to learn more about mulching
  • Prune (to encourage healthy growth and remove unwanted/unneeded growth)
  • Inspect (annual inspections by a professional tree service can help detect issues before they develop)

Tip: When selecting a tree species for your yard or landscape, choose a species that is appropriate for your region’s climate and not prone to self-pruning.


In this article, you discovered the definition of self-pruning trees, how the process happens, what causes it, and the species most likely to do it.

By taking steps to increase the health of your tree and the sunlight it receives, you can avoid being taken by surprise when your tree suddenly drops a branch.

Allowing your tree to grow without proper care and attention can lead to it self-pruning unannounced, suddenly dropping branches, causing catastrophic damages to anything or anyone below.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/self-pruning-trees-cladoptosis/

Thursday, May 28, 2020

How To Protect Trees

How to protect trees with mulch proper planting location and wind protection

Allowing a tree to fall ill and die can impact other plants in your yard, or result in catastrophic damage to your property and wellbeing. By knowing how to protect trees from planting to maturity, you are giving them the best chance to thrive.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information about the steps you can take to protect your trees from multiple threats and hazards.

Right Tree Right Place

Before even planting a tree, your first measure of protection for it is to select an appropriate species along with choosing the best location to plant it. When choosing a tree species, consider the following:

• Do you prefer an evergreen or a deciduous tree
• Is it a flowering species
• Is the species cold hardy for your location on the USDA plant hardiness zone map
• Is the species an overstory or understory tree
• Is the species known to have invasive roots
• Has the species developed resistance to any local pathogens or pests
• What problems are the species known to develop as it matures

Right tree in the right place means the tree is suitable for the light wind rain soil and height of the tree

Once you have determined the species of the tree you would like to plant, it’s time to find the right location. When selecting the location of your new tree, take the following into consideration:

• Is the location sheltered from the wind
• Does the location receive full sun
• Is the soil well-drained
• Is the location far enough from structures and other trees to avoid root damage
• Are underground utility lines far from the location
• Look up. Is there anything overhead that could obstruct or interfere with the tree’s growth

When considering the location for your new tree, keep in mind that a growing tree cannot simply move a few feet to the left. As you select a planting location, remember that your tree will be in that spot for many decades.

Building and Structure Placement

As your landscape evolves, the protection of your trees must be at the forefront of your plans and designs. The following will help you make informed decisions about changes to your landscape and hardscape.

• Buildings, sheds, and fences can serve as wind blocks
• Keep new underground water, sewer, cable, and electrical lines far from your tree’s root system
• Keep patios, walkways, driveways, and other features from encroaching on the root plate (within the drip line) of your tree.

Fences structures and landscape features can protect trees from soil compaction and other dangers

Roots exist to absorb oxygen, water, and nutrients for the livelihood of the tree. Much of this process occurs in the top 6 to 8 inches of soil within the tree’s drip line (edge of the canopy). Trees can be best protected by having trenching, construction, and feature installation done outside the drip line, away from the tree.

Read more about tree protection during construction projects at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/protection-instructions-construction-landscaping-hardscaping/

Protect Your Tree from Soil Compaction

Soil compaction occurs when foot traffic, vehicle movement, equipment storage, or natural conditions cause the soil to compact and harden. This condition is particularly deadly when it occurs in areas surrounding trees. Tree roots are unable to absorb oxygen, nutrients, and water from compacted soil, and under these conditions will cause hydraulic failure and death of the tree.

The following are ways to protect your tree from soil compaction:

• Mulch the entire root plate
• Divert all foot traffic away from your trees
• Avoid storing parts and equipment of any kind under your trees
• Keep soil moist (not wet)
• Fence off trees during construction projects

Tree roots can be protected from temperature swings and from compaction when they are mulched with organic material

Read more about the benefits of mulching and how it helps prevent soil compaction at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/proper-mulching-techniques-around-trees/

Protect Your Trees From Freeze

Whether your tree is evergreen or deciduous, there are some risks to leaving it exposed to sustained freezing temperatures (below 32 degrees) as it matures. Winter tree injury can appear as the following:

• Dried out evergreen foliage
• Broken limbs and branches from snow/ice weight
• Southwest injury or sunscald

Winter injury can be avoided by more efficient watering, tree wrapping, and bark wrapping. Taking steps to protect your trees in the first three to five years of growth will help it defend itself from injury as it reaches maturity.

Protect trees from winter injury including dried out foliage broken limbs and branches or sunscald

Read more about winter protection for trees at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/how-to-protect-your-trees-winter/

Pruning, Cutting, and Emergency Tree Removal

One of the most critical measures of tree protection is pruning. As your tree matures, it can develop abnormal growth, become infested, suffer from a disease, and be damaged during severe weather events.

Pruning or cutting dead or diseased branches helps your tree direct its energy to new, healthy growth. When disease and infestations occur on the tree trunk, the only remaining option may be to remove the affected tree. This, at times, is the only way to save other healthy trees from suffering the same fate.

Tree protection includes periodic trimming cutting pruning and sometimes removal when a threatening disease or infestation is present

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

Tree Protection

Besides maintaining the tree(s) on your property, there are many other ways you can help protect trees in your community and around the globe. The following are ways you can participate in the reduction of demand for timber and help preserve our forests:

• Encourage stewardship
• Reduce the amount of paper you use
• Exchange paper products for those made of alternative material
• Recycle used paper
• Reuse gift bags
• Buy used wooden furniture
• Borrow, share, and donate books
• Switch to digital books and reading material
• Educate others
• Support reforestation efforts
• Plant a tree

Tree protection includes using less paper products and recycling the ones that we use

Any steps you take in the direction of tree protection and conservation add to a global movement to preserve our national and urban forests. Read more about encouraging stewardship and how tree ordinances are drafted and enacted at mortonarb.org/trees-plants/community-trees-program/protecting-trees

Preserving And Protecting Trees

In this article, you discovered information about how you can protect your trees from hazards and how to participate in the protection of trees in our urban and national forests.

By taking steps to protect your tree from its planting to its maturity, you can avoid the dangers of a sick or dying tree, causing significant damages when it falls.

Ignoring steps to protect trees can result in expensive damages and the abrupt loss of invested time and effort.


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-trees/

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hypoxylon Canker Disease on Oak and Shade Trees (Biscogniauxia Canker)

Hypoxylon canker disease on tree trunk

Keep your tree from becoming an extreme threat to your property and landscape when it is infected by Hypoxylon canker. When you know how to identify and treat this disease, you might save your tree.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information about the definition, identification, treatment, and prevention of Hypoxylon canker.

Hypoxylon Atropunctatum Disease Definition

Hypoxylon atropunctatum is the former, more widely-known name of Biscogniauxia canker or dieback. This disease is a frequent contributor to the decline, decay, and death in a wide range of tree species.

Biscogniauxia fungi are an opportunistic species that do not affect healthy, thriving trees. When a tree is under hydraulic (water), root disease, physical damage, or soil compaction induced stress, these fungi can quickly colonize the host tree.

Once the disease has colonized a tree and produces fruiting structures, it is a signal that the tree is in rapid decline, if not already dead. This is especially true when the infection is located in the trunk.

Hypoxylon canker disease with fruiting structures

Identification of Hypoxylon Canker Disease

The following symptoms are indicative of a tree in declining health that may signal the presence of Hypoxylon atropunctatum (Biscogniauxia canker):

• Chlorosis of the tree’s foliage
• Reduced twig growth and smaller leaf growth
• Dead or browned leaves remain attached
• Dead branches or limbs
• Thinning canopy
• Water sprouts growing from the trunk, large limbs, or roots
• White, decayed sapwood in cankered areas of the tree
• Patches of outer bark sloughing off of the branches or trunk

The following are signs to positively identify the fungus:

Early Growth Stages – Looking at cankered areas on a tree, you will see a dark red to brown or olive-green fungal tissue (stroma) over those areas.

Later Growth Stages – Flaking grey surface that reveals a brown to black crusty material with the impression that the area had burned.

Advanced Growth Stages – Small infected patches that eventually merge together to form strips of infected material along the trunk and limbs of the tree.

Hypoxylon canker disease damaging tree bark

As the fungus moves through the growth stages, sections of the infected tree’s bark will pop or fall off, revealing a fungal mat where the tree’s cambium should be.

The following tree species can serve as host to Hypoxylon canker disease:

• Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)
• Bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)
• Black poplar hybrids (Populus nigra)
• Balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)
• European aspen (Populus tremula)
• Violet Willow (Salix daphnoides)
• Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
• White poplar (Populus alba)
• Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
• Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
• Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica)
• Post Oak (Quercus stellata)
• American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

Note: Hypoxylon canker has three primary species that can infect a variety of shade trees. Hypoxylon atropunctatum is commonly found on oak species, Hypoxylon mammatum attacks mostly aspen trees and Hypoxylon tinctor primarily infects sycamore trees. If none of the above trees and species are yours, these are other tree diseases and treatment instructions toddsmariettatreeservices.com/5-marietta-ga-tree-diseases-identification-treatment/

Treatment of Hypoxylon Canker Disease

There are no known fungicides that can prevent or cure Hypoxylon canker. It is important to remember the opportunistic trait of this fungus. When it can thrive on its host, that tree’s health is compromised or in decline. The following will help you chose an appropriate course of action:

Hypoxylon Canker on Limbs and Branches – When this disease has infected the limbs and branches (not the trunk) of a tree:

• Those limbs and branches should be carefully pruned from the tree.
• Prune infected limbs and branches in sections if needed to minimize disturbing infected areas.
• Wood infected by any species of fungi should be handled as highly transmissible to surrounding trees.
• Do not run these limbs and branches through a wood chipper.
• This wood can be burned.

Hypoxylon Canker on Tree Trunks – When this disease has infected the tree trunk, there is nothing you can do to prevent the decline and eventual death of the tree:

• Hire a professional tree service to carefully remove the tree.
• Do not run a Hypoxylon canker infected tree through a wood chipper.
• This wood can be burned.

Hypoxylon canker disease damaging tree trunk bark

Hypoxylon canker thriving on a tree is a clear indication that the tree was already in distress.

Prevention of Hypoxylon Canker Disease

Hypoxylon canker may already be present on your tree, waiting for the tree’s defenses to weaken. Some ways to prevent this disease from developing include:

• Remove any trees that have developed cankers on their trunks. As these trees die, they become an extreme hazard to property, people, and surrounding trees.
• Prune branches and limbs with cankers before they reach the trunk.
• If 25% of the tree’s crown will be lost from pruning, consult a professional tree service to evaluate the condition of the tree and recommend a course of action.
• Avoid planting poplar, willow, oak, and aspen near trees with Hypoxylon infections until those trees have been removed.
• Mulch your trees.
• Water your trees and provide frequent deep waterings during periods of extreme heat and drought.
• Perform annual soil tests and adjust your use of fertilizer to provide the appropriate nutrients for the tree.
• Seasonally prune your trees to promote new and healthy growth.
• Immediately treat any signs of insect infestations.

Prevention of Hypoxylon or Biscogniauxia canker can only be achieved by promoting the health of the tree. This approach allows the tree to employ its natural defenses to suppress the growth/development of this opportunistic fungus.

Hypoxylon Canker Disease

In this article, you discovered the definition of Hypoxylon canker disease, how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it from developing on your tree.

By taking immediate action to halt the progression of Hypoxylon canker, you can potentially save your tree from certain death.

When you fail to take measures against this disease, you are condemning your tree to certain death and promoting the spread of this fungal assassin.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/hypoxylon-canker-disease-biscogniauxia/

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Should I Remove That Dead Tree in My Yard?

Diseased dying and dead tree removal from my yard

Your dead tree may pose a harmful threat to your property and human life in the event of a disaster. Knowing the possibilities and consequences of keeping a dead tree in your yard can lead you to an informed decision about its fate.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on how to determine whether to keep or remove a dead in your yard and how it can be repurposed either way.

My Tree Is Dead

A tree, like every other living thing, will eventually die. What to do with it when it dies depends on the following factors:

Diseased Tree – If your tree met its demise due to disease, remove it from your yard. Diseases that infect and kill trees are highly transmissible to plants, shrubs, and other trees.

Dead tree removal with signs of disease

Insect Infested Tree – If your tree died from insect infestation problems, or became infested after it died, have that tree removed immediately. Insects, especially boring insects, can multiply quickly and spread even faster.

Root Rot – Many tree diseases attack the root system and typically occur in poorly-drained soil, causing root rot. Trees dying or dead from root rot can fall at any time, even in the mildest of weather conditions. Trees with this condition should be removed as quickly as possible.

Leaning Tree – If your dying or dead tree starts to lean, take immediate action to have it removed before it loses its center of gravity and falls. For example, a poplar tree that grew to over 100 feet high and weighed well over 10,000 pounds would obliterate whatever it landed on.

Overstory Trees – These are trees that reach or exceed 60 feet in height. Dead overstory trees should be removed to prevent catastrophic damages if they were to fall.

Understory Trees – These are trees that reach heights below 50 feet. In fact, these trees are generally between 12 and 20 feet tall. A dead understory tree can be left in place if:

• After a tree hazard assessment, it is found that the tree poses little to no threat to its surroundings.
• The tree remains disease free and free from infestation.
• Your municipality’s tree ordinance does not require its removal.

For more information about tree hazard assessments, visit toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/

Realistically, there are very few circumstances that support leaving a dead tree standing. However, if these circumstances permit, there is much you can do with the tree.

What To Do With My Dead Tree

Have the tree wholly removed by a professional tree service, unless a certified arborist declares your tree safe. There are many repurposing options for your tree in the following scenarios.

If your tree must be taken down and is free from infestation and disease, consider the following:

• Have the tree cut up for firewood.
• Have the tree turned into wood chips for use as organic mulch.
• Turn the tree into a part of your landscape. As it decomposes, it will provide shelter for wildlife, natural fertilizer for the earth below it, and bark eating animals will have a long-lasting food source.

Dead tree removal cut for firewood

If your tree poses no immediate threat and remains in place, it can be used for the following:

• A standing dead tree, known as a stag, can serve your local wildlife as a sanctuary.
• Paint and decorate your tree to become a conversation piece in your yard.
• Turn the tree into a bird and squirrel feeder (stick seeds and nuts to it using honey and/or peanut butter.
• Apply seasonal decorations to liven up your yard during holidays and events.

Dead tree in my yard festively decorated for the holidays

Tip: If you add lights to your tree, use an LED type light which generates minimal heat and make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use. As your dead tree dries out, it will naturally become more flammable.

Note: Some tree species like aspen or eucalyptus are self-pruning when living (they drop branches suddenly) and should not be left standing after dying. Once dead, self-pruning trees can pose a higher risk of personal injury or property damage as they lose their limbs.

For more ideas about recycling or repurposing a fallen tree, visit toddsmariettatreeservices.com/repurpose-recycle-leave-fallen-tree/

Dead Tree Removal

In this article, you discovered what factors determine the necessity to remove or the ability to keep a dead tree in your yard and what purpose it can serve.

By having your dead tree evaluated by an arborist, you can make an informed decision about the next part of the tree’s journey and purpose.

Your failure to address a dead tree in your yard may result in fines imposed by your municipality, the spread of an infestation or disease, and if the tree should fall, catastrophic damages to your property and/or wellbeing.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Originally published on: http://www.toddsmariettatreeservices.com/dead-tree-removal/

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

How To Identify and Manage 7 Deadly Tree Defects

Cracked branches or tree trunks are defects that can lead to sudden toppling destruction and injury

If you don’t know what to look for, a tree defect can cause a significant hazard for you. By knowing how to identify and manage severe tree defects, you can prevent catastrophic and life-threatening damages from branch and tree falls.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on 7 tree defects, how to identify them, and how to manage them before they become deadly.

Deadly Tree Defects

The following tree defects are structural in nature and can result from disease, poor tree architecture, or injury. When such defects cause a tree or branch to fail, the damages or injuries to structures and people can be utterly catastrophic.

Here’s how to identify and manage these deadly defects:

Cracks in Branches or Tree Trunks

Cracks in your tree can represent weakness in the tree’s structure or internal decay rotting away at the inner wood of the tree.

How To Identify Cracks – When you can see past the bark of the tree into the lighter colored inner wood, you have identified a crack. Cracks can follow the grain of the tree (as if the tree was splitting) or intersect it (as if the tree was breaking), both types of breaks require your immediate attention.

How To Manage Cracks – If the crack is located on a branch away from the branch collar, it can be pruned off the tree at the root collar. However, if the crack is located on the tree trunk, you may have to have the tree removed to eliminate the danger it poses.

When it comes to cracks on a tree, it is highly recommended to call a professional tree service to perform a hazard assessment and offer a reasonable course of action. Read more about tree hazard assessments at toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/

Weak Branch Unions

Some branches on trees may grow in a way that makes them a severe hazard as the tree grows larger and heavier.

How To Identify Weak Branch Unions – Look at the area where the branch meets the tree trunk. There “should” be what is known as a branch collar or branch bark ridge (strong attachment). If this branch collar is absent, this is known as included bark in the branch attachment (weak attachment).

A weak branch union is tree defect that can lead to sudden falling

How To Manage Weak Branch Unions – Prune out branches with weak connections to the tree trunk. As the tree and branches grow, so shall their weight. When these branches spontaneously detach from the tree, they can wreak havoc on lower branches, and whatever else is below.

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

Poor Tree or Crown Architecture

Poorly-maintained or unmaintained trees can present several worrisome defects. Perhaps the most troubling of those defects is the growth of multiple leaders. Multiple leaders are the vertical branches of a tree from which the horizontal branches form the crown.

How To Identify Poor Tree Architecture – Stand far enough away from the tree in question, so that you can see the majority of the crown and the branches that lead into it from the trunk. If the tree looks lopsided (more branches and foliage on one side of the crown), or there are multiple leaders, the tree’s architecture should be addressed.

The lower on the trunk that multiple leaders begin, the more unstable the tree will be as it grows.

Multiple leaders are a tree defect that can lead to weak stems and collapse

How To Manage Poor Tree Architecture – For trees with a disproportionate crown, a professional tree service should be hired to thin the crown and restore a sense of balance to the tree.

For trees growing multiple leaders, especially those trees growing them low to the ground, one leader should be chosen to remain while the others are pruned from the tree. This type of management is most effective when the tree is younger.

Leaning Trees

Trees that lean can have an ominous appearance. If that lean is greater than 15 degrees, removal of the tree should be considered for damage and injury prevention. When it comes to the direction of a fall, avoid basing your assumption on the direction of the lean, wind and holding wood can cause it to fall in any direction, including opposite the direction of the lean.

How To Identify A Corrected Lean – A corrected lean happens when a tree has been leaning for a very long time. The base of the tree will lean, but the trunk corrects itself as the tree grows. This may appear as a curvature or a hard angle (crook) where the tree corrected itself.

As the tree ages, a natural lean may slowly increase due to the increasing weight of the trunk and crown.

How To Manage A Corrected Lean – Corrected leans are relatively common in nature and don’t require immediate attention. However, if it becomes an uncorrected lean, the tree may have to be removed.

How To Identify An Uncorrected Lean – These leans can occur when the root plate destabilizes, cracks on the trunk increase in size, or decay at the top or bottom of the trunk cause the crown or entire tree to lean.

An uncorrected lean is a tree defect that can lead to toppling injury and damage

How To Manage An Uncorrected Lean – Trees with an uncorrected lean are extremely hazardous and have already begun to fall. These trees should be addressed and removed by a professional tree service immediately.

Tree Decay

Tree decay is one of the most common contributors to tree failure during severe weather events, and in advanced cases, sudden tree failure.

How To Identify Tree Decay – When fungal fruiting structures or mushroom conks begin to bloom out of the trunk or root flare, there is decay at work deep within the tree. This is an incredibly dangerous situation that should never be overlooked or ignored.

Fungal infection ia a tree defect that can lead to severe decay poor health and eventual death

How To Manage Tree Decay – Once you have identified the signs of decay, have a tree risk assessment performed as quickly as possible to determine when the tree should be removed.

Tree Root Problems

While tree roots may be buried, their effect on trees becomes very evident, making identification fairly easy.

How To Identify Tree Root Problems – Two common root problems can lead to the failure and falling of a tree. One problem is stem girdling roots (SGRs), these roots encircle the tree trunk just under the ground. As the tree grows, the encircled roots also grow and thicken. The SGRs eventually cause the complete hydraulic failure of the tree.

Look at the root flare, if you see one of the flares making a hard turn “hugging” the curvature of the trunk, it is likely encircling the trunk. Another sign is the sudden wilting and death of the entire crown of an otherwise healthy tree.

Stem girdling roots are a tree defect that can lead to poor health and death

Root rot can be caused by any one of several disease pathogens. It can also occur in soaked soil with poor drainage. When root rot is present, you may see an entire section of the tree’s crown wilt and die. In severe cases, where the entire root plate is affected, the whole crown may suddenly wilt and die.

How To Manage Tree Root Problems – For SGRs, these roots must be cut away from the tree before killing it. For root rot, upon detection, a professional tree service should be called to assess the severity of the damage and whether or not the tree can be salvaged.

Tree Trunk Cankers

Cankers can appear on and affect tree trunks and branches. They are areas of tissue that have been killed by fire, sunscald, disease, insects, animal, and/or human activity.

How To Identify Cankers – Cankers appear as a darkened or sunken area of bark. This affliction causes an area of previously living bark to die and is usually associated with decay. Some cankers will ooze sap or fluids produced from the decaying of sapwood.

Cankers are a tree defect that can lead to infection rot and death of the host

How To Manage Cankers – Cankers on branches should be pruned off the tree when discovered. This prevents any disease or pathogen from spreading further within the tree. Cankers on the trunk are more problematic and should be treated the same as a crack.

Cankers on tree trunks weaken the structure of the tree and are highly susceptible to insect infestation and disease. It is highly recommended that a professional tree service be called to perform a tree hazard assessment and recommend preventative measures.

Managing Tree Defects

In this article, you discovered 7 deadly tree defects, how to identify them, and what actions to take before they cause catastrophic loss and/or injury.

By taking immediate action to reverse or eliminate tree defects, you are ensuring the safety of your property and eliminating a potentially deadly tree failure.

Ignoring the signs of tree defects can result in costly damages to your property, structures, and vehicles. If the defect is coupled with a disease or infestation, your failure to respond may spread such problems to other trees and plant life on your property.


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-identify-manage-tree-defects/

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.


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.


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/