Should You Say "Goodbye" To Your Tree Before Winter?

There's an old saying that goes, "if you don't take the tree down, it will take down itself." As winter approaches, this saying becomes very true. If there are trees on your land that are not in good shape, this could be your last chance to remove them before the upcoming snow, ice, and cold temperatures do it for you. But how do you identify a tree that's ready to be felled? Here are some classic signs:

1. Multiple limbs are dead

Note that this does not say "multiple branches are dead." A tree can have plenty of dead, smaller branches and still survive. It's pretty natural for a few smaller branches to die each year, even when a tree is in good health. Limbs, specifically, are the large branches that emerge directly from the trunk. If multiple limbs die, then there is usually something serious wrong with the tree. It could have an infectious disease or be infested with insects, such as the Emerald ash borer. Those dead limbs are going to be a problem when the snow starts flying. They may fall and cause a lot of damage. And since they are evidence of the tree being in poor health overall, the whole tree could even fall.

2. There are brackets growing out of the roots or trunk

Brackets are the fruiting bodies of various fungal species. They look like big, flat mushrooms. When your tree has them, they're nearly impossible to look past. Brackets are a sign of a fungal infection that has moved into the tree's vascular tissues. If the infection has not already done so, it will soon prevent the tree from transporting nutrients and water from the roots to the branches, which will cause those branches to die. The fungi also make the wood around the tree's base spongy, and that's certainly not good leading into winter. Have the infected tree removed this fall, or it might fall!

3. You see large, black cankers on the trunk and major branches

A canker is basically an oozing wound. Usually, these are large and black. They're unsightly and hard to overlook. Cankers can be caused by a number of tree diseases, from the infamous black canker to thousand cankers disease. These diseases are serious, and trees rarely recover. Even if your tree survives the winter, it will probably die in the next year, so you are best off removing it before winter to reduce the risk of it falling and damaging something.

Fall is the perfect season to remove your ailing trees before winter hits. Get ready to say "goodbye," and then call the tree removal company.

If you have additional questions, reach out to a company like Pete & Ron's Tree Service, Inc.