Common Tree Problems
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 create damage or injure someone if it fell. In fact, dead
tree removal is the most common tree service job.
Fungus or mushrooms. Fungus
or mushrooms growing on the tree or around the base of the tree are a
sign of decaying or rotting wood and/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 to break. If the problem is identified
early enough, a 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 and may fall in a strong storm.
Leaning trees. Sometimes trees will naturally start to lean. The more a tree leans, the more likely it is to fall in a storm.
Missing bark. Because bark is
the living portion of the tree, large areas of missing bark indicate a
sick tree. Additionally, exposed wood leads to insect infestation.
Vines. Vine growth can
severely impact tree health. Vines growing onto a tree can damage the
bark, rob tree leaves of sunlight, and remove nutrients from the soil
immediately surrounding the tree. Additionally, vines hide bark problems
and provide a breeding ground for disease and insects. To remove vines,
simply cut through the vine where it starts to climb the tree. All the
vine above the cut will wither and die.
Emerald ash borer. Commonly
found in June and July, these beetles attack ash trees in and around
Chicago. The larvae tunnel through trees, leaving a telltale D-shaped
Since many tree problems are easily identified, experts advise regularly
examining your trees, looking for potential problems, such as the ones
mentioned above. Homeowners may want to contact a certified arborist to
spot potential problems or give advice.