What’s Wrong With My Trees? Wood Decay

Wood Decay Is Caused By Fungi

While wood decay is natural—and beneficial—in nature, we don’t necessarily want it occurring in the trees on our lawns. Wood decay first begins when the tree is damaged by natural or man-made means, be it a storm or improper pruning. Fungus spores and bacteria can then enter the wound and infect the tree.

what's wrong with my treeTrees are able to compartmentalize the decay to protect its living parts, but it can only can do so much—especially if the infection is severe.

Symptoms Of Wood Decay

Wood decay can exist for years within a tree before weakening causes visible problems. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Fungal growth
  • Breakage
  • Splitting
  • Discolored wood

Treating Wood Decay In Your Trees

When it comes to treating wood decay in your trees, it’s best to remove any damaged parts or even the whole tree. This is important since infected trees can weaken and become a safety hazard.

The best way to tackle wood decay in trees is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This means:

  • Preventing injury to the tree
  • Plant the tree in the right location
  • Removing and destroying debris that can spread fungi and bacteria

If your tree has already been damaged, hire an ISA-certified arborist to do a full inspection. They will be able to give your recommendations on its health and advise you on signs to look out for. If the damage is bad enough, they may recommend removal.

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