Are Your Trees Rotten?

You love all the trees in your yard. They provide shade and give your yard that added appeal. Sometimes though your trees can develop problems. More than likely you have already spotted the problem and maybe you are just waiting and hoping that it will clear up on its own. It’s a sad fact but sometimes your tree gets tree rot. Let’s cover how to spot it, the different types, and how to treat it.

The signs of tree rot. 

Some of the quick to spot signs of tree rot is to have your tree start to unexpectedly start to lean or it has started to have a mushroom-like fungus start to grow on the outside of the trunk. You should also look at the leaves and see if they are wilting. If your tree is has slowed down in growing or has become stunted this also could be a sign of internal tree rot. More indicators to watch out for are dead branches at the base of the tree, a fine sawdust on the ground by the base, and multiple trunks connecting and splitting in a “V” shape rather than the usual “U” shape. Sadly, unless you can actually see the tree rot, the signs are similar to other tree problems. If you think your tree is infected, call a professional arborist company. The specialist can check your tree and find out if your tree is in danger and hopefully be able to save it before it gets too far gone.


The three types of rot.

Tree rot is when your tree is attacked by a fungus. There are three main types of rot.

Brown Rot: This type will cause your tree to dry out, crumble, and decay. This is the most serious type of tree rot.

White Rot: This type of rot is just as serious as brown rot but instead of drying out the tree, the wood will feel moist and spongy.

Soft Rot: This process is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection and is much slower than the other two types. It will still lead to decay, but it also will cause the least amount of structural damage to your tree.

Be proactive, not reactive.

This sounds so simple but the best way to deal with tree rot is to do what you can to prevent it. There are some things you can do to help prevent a tree from becoming infected. Use mulch around your tree but leave space between the mulch and the bark. This will create a barrier around the root crown that will help take care of any excess water. Remember that stressed trees become more likely to get tree rot. Try to relieve any stressors like insect infestations or limited water drainage.

Additionally, try to use a fertilizer that has the numbers 0-20-0 or 0-46-0. This has more phosphorus and will help in root growth. This is usually the recommended fertilizer but double check with your local tree specialist to make sure you are using the right one for your size and type of tree.

Try to prune dead branches or others that may have been damaged. Also, make sure you remove the suckers or offshoots. These things are all taking energy from you tree making it harder for the tree to heal itself and grow. It can be best to hire a professional landscape or tree company to handle this for you. If you make a wrong cut you could damage the tree even further.

How to treat tree rot. 

The harsh truth is that one tree rot starts there is little chance of your tree surviving. If you see the mushroom fungus on your tree, then there is no treatment and the recommended action then becomes tree removal. These mushrooms mean that the rot has gotten to the point where the tree can’t be saved. It can take several years for the tree to fully rot but it can cause dangerous situations. If it is near your home or powerlines it is best to remove the tree sooner rather than later.

Tree removal can be a complicated and sometimes dangerous procedure and you may decide to wait to remove the infected tree. However, it is best to remove the tree at the first definitive signs. Check regularly for signs of uprooting by pulling back the ground covering the base of your tree and look for cracks and raised roots. Trees that are infected with the mushroom-like growths are more likely to have the trunk buckle or break.

Make sure if you have a tree that needs to be removed that you contact a professional tree removal company. Don’t attempt to do this yourself as it could end up doing damage to your property. A professional company will safely get your tree down and removed. Don’t wait to call as a strong gust of wind or a storm that has strong winds could cause your tree to fall.

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