Late summer is often a time when trees that are struggling begin to catch our attention. Their leaves start to turn color before the other trees, or they can simply start to lose their leaves ahead of schedule. When dealing with needle bearing trees you might notice that the needles look dry, pale green, brown, or are simply thinning out. These are all signs that your trees are under severe stress and might be at risk of dying.
In order to determine what might be causing these symptoms to appear, it is helpful to first take a closer view of the trunk and what we arborists call the root flair. This is where the base of the tree and the soil meet. If your tree is having a serious problem it often shows up here. Look for loose bark, oozing fluid, frass (looks like fine sawdust) and pitch tubes (looks like white to yellow glops of pitch). These are all signs of more serious conditions that could cause the tree to die or possibly even fall over without further warning.
If there are no signs on the trunk or at the root flair that does not mean you are out of the woods yet. Root rots below the ground are often not detectable without digging, and in some cases require laboratory analysis. These are the common culprits of sudden tree failure.
Higher up in the canopy you can be dealing with fungal diseases, bacterial blights, leaf chewing and/or sucking insects, or bark beetles. When it comes to bark beetles, in most cases this usually points back to the tree experiencing some other sort of damage or disease that has now made it susceptible to bark beetles. As you can see, trees are complex organisms that can experience many problems, much like we do. If you need some help trying to get to the root of your problem please let Rich’s Tree Service help.
Owner and Certified Arborist Rich Gillum, of Rich’s Tree Service, Inc., has been serving the Portland Metro areas for over 24 years. We are a licensed, bonded, and insured tree care company that specializes in pruning, preservation, and removal. Customers can read our reviews on Angie’s List, The BBB, Facebook and ask for a list of commercial and residential references to learn more about our superior service.