Common Maryland Tree Problems

Trees are both a strong and fragile part of the yard. With help, they thrive and safely provide both beauty and shade. Without help, they may become sick and die or unexpectedly fall, potentially causing damage or injury. Those who do not understand how to properly care for their trees may unintentionally harm or even kill them.

Dead trees. Because dead trees do not sprout leaves, they are easily identified in the spring. A dead tree should be removed promptly, especially if it is in an area where it could inflict damage or injure someone if it fell. In fact, dead tree removal is the most common tree service job.

Fungus and mushrooms. Fungus and mushrooms growing on the tree or around the base of the tree are signs of decaying or rotting wood or roots. When a tree’s roots decay or rot, the tree is dying. As the roots weaken, the tree loses support and is more likely to fall or split. If the problem is identified early enough, a knowledgeable professional tree service may be able to save the tree.

Dead branches. Dead branches present a risk of falling, are unsightly, permit decay to enter the tree, and serve no useful purpose to the tree. 

Raised earth around the tree base. Raised or broken earth around the tree base may be a sign that the tree is starting to uproot, which indicates that it could fall in a strong storm. 

Missing bark. Because bark is a living, protective portion of the tree, large areas of missing bark indicate a sick tree. Additionally, exposed wood leads to insect infestation.

Pine beetles. As their name suggests, pine beetles are small beetles that attack and often kill pine trees. They tunnel into the bark to lay their eggs and deposit fungus, which later feeds their young. The tunnels and the fungus disrupt sap flow and ultimately kill the tree. By the time most attacks are discovered, the infested tree is doomed. However, quick action may save the surrounding pine trees from contracting the infestation.