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Identifying Problems With Trees

While trees are largely self-sufficient, like any other plant, they do require some care and attention. This maintenance is vital to ensure that they remain healthy and, most importantly, safe. While for the average person it can be difficult to identify whether a tree is suffering problems, there are signs that can indicate a potential issue that needs to be dealt with. How to check a tree A tree is made up of leaves, branches, a trunk, and the roots. Each of these need to checked for signs of infestation, disease, or decay, and there are specific signs to look for. Leaves A lack of leaves, or a loss of leaves when the tree should be in full foliage, is an obvious indicator that there are problems. While the circumstances, such as drought, should be taken into account, leaf loss may mean that the tree has become infected with disease or pests. Similarly, leaves that are an unusual color, or have marks, lumps or holes in them, are indicative of a problem. Branches Dead branches are easily identified by their lack of leaves. If they have been dead for a considerable time, they will also have lost their bark. While one dead branch is not necessarily a sign that the whole tree has a problem, multiple ones indicate that there is a good possibility that there is a serious problem. Even single dead branches should be dealt with. They can become weakened, and so are more likely to fall, which could result in injury or damage to property. Trunk A newly leaning tree can be a symptom of a serious problem. If the soil around the base of the tree has cracked, or roots appear to have become exposed, these are signs that it is a recent development. Cracks, splits, holes, or patches of decay in the trunk, or rotting, spongy wood around the base, are also evidence that there may be a significant issue that needs addressing. Roots Roots are the trees anchor, and so are necessary for the safety of the tree. While large trees can withstand up to 50 percent root loss, anything more than this will lead to them weakening and dying. The location of roots clearly makes it more difficult to check them for damage, however, a lack of visible roots around the base of the trunk is a warning sign of poor health. To check the health of the roots, lightly scraping one should reveal a brightly colored inside without sign of decay. If a problem is identified early, there is more chance that suitable treatment will ensure the health and long life of the tree. Therefore, if there are any signs that something may be wrong, householders should contact a tree care specialist. They will be able to make a full assessment of the situation, and provide professional advice and services.

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