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How to Prevent Trees From Dying

How to Prevent Trees From Dying

Dying trees present a risk that is impossible to overlook. If a tree on your property falls, you could be liable for the damage it causes. Proper tree care can save you thousands of dollars.

Risks of Having Dead Trees on Your Property

Occasionally, dead trees can stand for decades. Other times, a tree will fall within a year of dying. Did you know a giant sequoia weighs in at around four million pounds? Now, imagine the risks of a tree that size falling on your neighbor’s property. Don’t have a sequoia, you say? It’s not just the big guys—small trees can create considerable damage and cause injury or even death.

  • The New York Times posted a truly terrifying story on May 13, 2012 that proves the importance of keeping trees from dying. The story reports numerous cases of death by tree within the City itself.
  • In January, WCNC out of North Carolina reported that two trees fell onto a home in Charlotte. The estimated cost of tree removal alone was around the $10k mark.

Assume a tree in your yard falls and there are (thankfully) no injuries, but your neighbor is pretty upset about the flattened shed in his yard. Now he wants to file a claim with your homeowners insurance due to property damage. If the offending oak was a healthy specimen which over in a wind storm, then your neighbor is—excuse the pun—barking up the wrong tree. He will have to file with his insurance company to reclaim the damages. However, the BBB says liability from a fallen tree which was dead or dying belongs solely to the property owner where the tree was once standing.

Signs Your Tree is Dying

Checking your property for dead trees and fixing the problem could be a potential life saver. The tell tale signs of a stressed and dying tree include:

  • Changes in the leaves – Leaves or needles that are yellowing could be a sign your tree is having a problem with water uptake.
  • Thinning or dead branches – An occasional dead branch is not a huge deal, but trees should not lose vast amounts of branches in succession.
  • Mushrooms – Some types of fungus grow at a tree’s base only when root rot is prevalent.
  • Trunk decay – A decaying tree could have splits, cracks, old wounds, and even display signs of swelling.
  • Infestation – Trees that show signs of damaging insect infestation or bacterial disease are at risk of death.

A tree can often be saved if the troubling issue is corrected soon after it occurs. Unfortunately, if the problem has been ongoing, it may be time to find a tree removal service. Having a dead tree removed from your property eliminates the liability to your family, your home, and your neighbor’s property.

Preventative Measures: Keeping Trees Healthy

5 Ways To Keep Your Trees Alive

1) Only water newer trees; Established trees are accustomed to your climate’s precipitation level.

2) Use a new layer of natural mulch around your tree every year to reduce weeds & retain moisture.

3) The car belongs in the garage, not under a tree. Compacted soil from heavy cars leads to damage.

4) Don’t try to give an older tree fertilizer. Just like the proverb about the old dog, it doesn’t like new tricks.

5) Over pruning produces open wounds which are prone to disease—limit pruning to the essentials.

5 Ways to Keep Your Trees Alive

  1. Only water newer trees; Established trees are accustomed to your climate’s precipitation level.
  2. Use a new layer of natural mulch around your tree every year to reduce weeds & retain moisture.
  3. The car belongs in the garage, not under a tree. Compacted soil from heavy cars leads to damage.
  4. Don’t try to give an older tree fertilizer. Just like the proverb about the old dog, it doesn’t like new tricks.
  5. Over pruning produces open wounds which are prone to disease—limit pruning to the essentials.

Checking your property for dead or dying trees is important, but preventing trees from dying is the best solution. Some trees can live more than 200 years with the proper care.

Taking care of your trees is fairly simple. In general, it is best to let Mother Nature do what she does on her own. There are times that you can help her along though. If bugs are taking over your tree, fight back. If your tree has a large wound, remove any dead bark in the area so the tree can begin to heal. If your tree is past the point of no return, take it down. Growing healthy trees keeps your property in good condition, reduces the risk of a hazardous situation, and could even keep your neighbor from suing you.

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