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Responsible landowners should have some basic tree knowledge, including the symptoms of tree rot. After all, a rotting tree poses a safety hazard to anything near it. If you identify the signs of tree rot early and enlist professional services, you may save that tree, or—at the very least—you can have it removed before it damages neighboring trees and property. In all cases, look to the experts for professional tree rot removal services.

The top tree care company operating in Manassas, VA, Timber Works Tree Care provides a full range of services. In addition to basics like tree rot removal and trimming, we offer land clearing, brush clearing, stump grinding, and more. Best of all, we handle all tasks through safe and efficient means at an affordable price. Get a free quote for your next tree care project and call us at (540) 692-9606.

Below, we discuss 5 common signs of tree rot:

1. Dead Leaves

Leaves are often the most salient indicator of a tree’s health. When rot sets in on deciduous trees, the leaves of some—not all—branches may turn brown and brittle, even during the growing season. Conversely, dead leaves may also cling to a deciduous tree rather than falling to the ground. Additionally, tree rot can turn the needles of coniferous evergreens yellow, red, or brown.

2. Deadwood

Deadwood does not always indicate that a tree is dying. However, an abundance of it is a common sign of tree rot (or at least an unhealthy tree). Address deadwood immediately, as it threatens more than just the tree. Deadwood can cause a branch or trunk to fall, endangering your property and passersby.

3. Brittle Bark & Cracks

Decaying trees often shed brittle, loose bark. Their doing so leads to patches of missing bark or vertical cracks. The latter cause structural weakness, which makes the tree vulnerable to wind or storm damage. Thus, you should keep an eye out for cracks or cavities in trees’ bark. 

Likewise, you might try the scratch test: use your fingernail or a small knife to remove a strip of bark and check the inner cambium layer. If the inner layer is green, the tree still has life. On the other hand, a brown and dry cambium layer indicates a dead or dying tree. You can repeat the test on a few areas of the tree to determine whether all or some of it is dead.

4. Insects & Fungus

Insects—like carpenter ants and bark beetles—are common signs of tree rot, as they choose weak, dying, and dead trees as hosts. Cavities or holes from wood-boring insects tend to announce an infestation. When tree rot is coupled with infestations, structural problems become particularly dangerous.

Fungal and bacterial infections, on the other hand, manifest in the form of cankers—depressed or discolored areas of bark—or mushrooms growing on the tree’s base or trunk. Insects and fungus not only signal tree rot but also cause rotting themselves.

5. Root Damage & Leaning

You may not imagine you can diagnose tree rot via root damage since roots run deep underground. However, root damage may cause poor tree growth, thinning foliage, deadwood, and discolored, wilted leaves during the growing season. Also, check for root damage by looking for surface or partially-exposed roots. Shallow roots may result from poor soil compaction, which exposes roots to damage from the elements.

Root damage, wind, or even abnormal growth can cause trees to lean more than 15 degrees from vertical. Large trees that have reached this angle rarely recover and will likely die (if they do not fall over before then).

Professional Tree Rot Removal Services in Manassas, VA

Tree Structure Evaluations Leesburg VA

Timber Works Tree Care offers expert tree rot removal services to landowners in and near Manassas, VA. Our projects are handled by a skilled crew and trained foreman, equipped with safety gear and cutting-edge tools. Whether you want to save a dying tree or remove a dead one, you can count on us to get the job done right. For tree rot removal and much more, contact the tree care professionals at (540) 692-9606.


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