5 Signs It's Time To Remove A Diseased Tree

Posted on: 13 January 2022

Tree diseases are caused by fungal, bacterial, or viral pathogens. The most fatal of these diseases usually enter the tree via wood or root wounds, although sometimes insects are the vectors that bring disease to a tree. Depending on the disease and the severity, removal may be the only suitable option. 

1. Contagion Severity

Some tree diseases can be treated or even cured. Others, like Dutch elm disease, are fatal. Fatal, highly contagious diseases are best destroyed as soon as they are recognized. If you have a sick tree on your property, a tree service can diagnose the cause. If it is a contagious, high-fatality tree disease, then immediate removal is necessary to prevent infection of other neighborhood trees. 

2. Bark Condition

Bark protects the main nutrient pathways of a tree, which sit in the layer of wood just beneath the bark. When the bark is lost, nutrients may not be able to flow between the roots and crown. Further, the wood is exposed to even more contagions and pests. Some diseases lead to wide cracking of the bark or even bark loss. If the tree has lost a lot of bark, particularly if bark loss encircles the trunk, then it may be too late to save the tree, so removal is the best choice. 

3. Branch Survival

A tree needs a certain amount of healthy branches that are producing lots of foliage in order to collect sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis. If mass crown dieback has occurred, then the foliage can't support the tree and it will die. A tree service can assess the tree to see if the crown can recover if the disease is treated. If recovery seems unlikely, the best option is to bring down the tree.

4. Rot Indicators

Often, tree diseases can wreak unseen havoc below ground or within the trunk. Root rot is common, particularly with fungal diseases. Rot can also affect the heartwood of the trunk, weakening the overall structure of the tree. Signs of rot include a tree that suddenly begins to lean or one that has mushrooms growing from the base or along the trunk. Cavities may also open up in the trunk if the heartwood is rotting.

5. Immediate Risks

If the disease is weakening the tree so that it poses any immediate risks, then removal sooner rather than later may be the best path forward. An example of an immediate risk is sick tree that is danger of falling into a power line or dropping large branches onto your home. Although treatment may be possible, the risk to property or personal safety may be too great to chance it.

Contact a tree removal service like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. if it is time to cut down a diseased tree in your yard.