Tree decay is a complicated matter. From the outside, a tree might look healthy but you never know if it is rotting from the inside. There are several signs of tree decay but what is more important is prevention and cure. Sometimes, the symptoms are so difficult to read that the homeowners end up treating the tree for some other disease. This job is better left to arborist services. However, let’s take a look into how you can diagnose a decaying tree and what you can do to fix it.
The Process Of Treating Tree Decay
The first thing that you should consider when it comes to treating a decaying tree is the extent of the decay, the source of the decay, and whether it could be stopped or not. Most people are not aware of the fact that trees can handle the decaying process through a process called compartmentalization.
What this means is that decaying areas or parts of the tree do not heal but instead are sealed off from the rest of the tree. That said, if a certain area of a tree is decaying, the tree will cut off the supply of water and nutrients to that area. This destroys living tree tissues but also stops pathogens from entering other parts of the tree.
In other words, the tree sacrifices one area or part of itself to protect the others and make it safe to continue growing and expanding. Tree decay symptoms can mostly be found on the outside structure. However, if the tree is rotting from the inside, you won’t know until the tree is cut.
As a result, the decay will gradually spread throughout the tree and it will become impossible to save the tree. Therefore, if you observe unusual signs or decaying properties on your tree or a certain part or area of the tree is shedding leaves while the rest of the tree is fine, it means the tree is decaying. You will need to consult an arborist who will prune or cut the particular area or part.
What Signs Should I Look For?
As mentioned earlier, when it comes to determining decay on a tree, you will need to be on the lookout for different signs. A tree is most likely to decay if it has caught a disease and has been left untreated for a long period of time. Moreover, some diseases cause disfiguring but might not be fatal.
Meanwhile, other diseases are inconspicuous and can damage the vascular system or the structural strength to the point where the damage is irreversible.
To ensure if your tree is decaying, you should check fruiting fungal bodies, bark wounds or cankers, sunken areas of bark, leaning trunks, etc. Keep in mind that tree diseases vary in terms of symptoms. Therefore, some signs may look fatal but an expert might be able to help the tree survive.
How To Check For Decay Inside A Tree?
Determining if a tree is decaying from the inside is the most difficult part. Partly due to the reason that homeowners mostly do not have access to the internal structure of the tree. This is where the professionals come in.
There are several ways of checking if a tree is decaying. The most common tends to be where an expert will use a mallet to strike a tree and listen for the sound produced. If the tree feels or sounds hollow, it means it is decaying from the inside.
However, if it doesn’t, it means the tree has life in it. Another effective way of checking decay is by using a resistograph. It is an instrument that determines the internal stability and strength of the wood. A resistograph features a very fine-gauge drill that measures the resistance when it is drilled into the bark and interior wood.
If the drill makes its way through the wood without any resistance or force at all, it means the tree is decaying. Whereas, if the situation is the opposite, it means the tree is intact.
In the end, treating a decaying tree can help save the tree if the symptoms are caught and treated on time. However, in most cases, you will be needing a professional’s help. That said, make sure that you immediately begin treating the tree as diseases can turn fatal within days. Consult an arborist for a tree inspection. If you want to cut it down, look for tree removal companies Chevy Chase.