Trees are a great addition to our spaces. Not only are they an aesthetic feature through different seasons, but they also provide shade, minimize soil erosion, reduce carbon dioxide levels while increasing oxygen levels. They also provide food for all kinds of birds and mammals. However, they aren’t impervious to damage. Many emergency tree services have often been called in at the last minute to deal with a damaged tree that’s on the verge of falling or has already fallen.
If you have trees on your property, especially close to your home, it is essential that you are aware of the different types of tree damage and their warning signs. Many homeowners in Fort Worth, Texas, aren’t aware of these signs and end up discovering a damaged tree at the worst possible moment.
This article will cover the most common types of tree damage encountered by emergency tree services and how you can spot a damaged tree.
Damage from Extreme Weather
Extreme weather is responsible for a large portion of tree damage. Trees are vulnerable to the elements since they spend their entire lifetimes outdoors. While they may handle snow, rainstorms, and sweltering heat, extreme weather is a different story. Most of the calls for emergency tree services in Fort Worth, TX usually follow extreme weather events. Here’s how extreme weather will damage your trees:
A flood will damage your tree in three key ways:
- Water saturation – Flooding makes it impossible for a tree’s roots to breathe by saturating the soil with water and significantly reducing oxygen levels in the soil. If the roots are completely submerged in water for an extended period, the roots will suffocate, die, and begin to rot.
- Physical damage – Depending on the amount of flooding, the water may have enough sheer force to topple the tree. The flood may also cause enough damage to the tree to make it susceptible to attacks from insects and pests. Trees in urban areas are more susceptible to falling during flooding as they tend to have weaker root systems due to limited space.
- Rapid changes in the environment – Floods cause a ton of stress to trees. Physical damage from fast-moving debris will gouge out the bark and break off branches, and the excess water disrupts the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the trees and the environment. All this stress wreaks havoc on trees and weakens their defenses.
Trees are more likely to be hit by lightning as they are usually taller than surrounding objects, providing a path of least resistance. The moisture and sap inside them make them a much better conductor than the air. While trees can indeed survive lightning strokes, it usually depends on the extent of the damage coupled with the care administered to the tree after the lightning strike. A tree that has recently been struck will likely have shattered pieces of bark, churned or burned areas around the truck, or will be on fire. Sometimes, a tree will exhibit no physical signs of being struck, and it takes a professional emergency tree service to spot the internal signs.
Usually, a tree will survive after being struck by lightning if the damage is only on one side of the tree and doesn’t extend to the root system. Taking proper care of the tree afterward will be essential as the damage can result in its death by exposing it to insects and diseases. If a tree on your Fort Worth, TX property has been struck by lightning, reach out to an emergency tree service to inspect it and advise you on the proper action to take. A professional can also install a copper wire system on an old but healthy tree to redirect lightning away from the root system.
Severe storms represent some of the most extreme weather we have ever seen. With wind speeds of over 100mph, severe storms can cause as much damage as a tornado. Strong windstorms can be strong enough to rip trees right out of the ground, roots and all. In some cases, windstorms can twist tree trunks, while fast-moving debris can cause significant tree damage. High wind storms can also strip the bark right off the trees, exposing them to potentially fatal insects and diseases. Tree damage is easy to spot, but in the case of twisted trunks, you may need an emergency tree service to determine the extent of the damage.
Damage from Pests
Like humans, trees aren’t immune to pests and disease. Some insects and pests will damage your trees in visible ways: the bark borer, for instance, digs through the bark and leaves rings of holes in trees. Other pests work subtly, damaging the tree on the inside without showing major physical symptoms. Emergency tree services regularly deal with the following are types of tree pests:
- Defoliators – Gypsy moth, western tent caterpillar, eastern tent caterpillar, Douglas-fir tussock moth, spruce budworm
- Wood borers – emerald ash borer, Asian longhorn beetle borer, bark beetles,
- Sap-sucking insects – Aphids, scale insects
Trees can also sustain damage from recent changes in their immediate environment or to the trees themselves. For instance, heavy pruning or topping to shape a tree or direct it from power lines may leave the tree vulnerable to pests and diseases. Excavation or construction may also require cutting some roots, which damages a tree’s root system.
Symptoms of a Damaged Tree
If you suspect your tree has suffered damage, whether from extreme weather, pests, or environmental changes, look out for the following:
- Detached branches
- Big, deaf branches
- Rotten wood or large cavities on the branches and trunk
- Cracked trunk or branches
- Unusual color changes in the leaves
- Mushrooms or fungi growing on the base of the tree
- Leaves with small holes and irregular or jagged edges
- Puckered or distorted foliage
- Stippled, yellow, and dry foliage
- White spots on branches, twigs, and leaves
- Holes in the bark
- Stunted leaves
While some symptoms of tree damage are visible, others may not manifest right away. In such cases, a damaged tree can fall without warning after sustaining enough damage, potentially hurting anyone within the vicinity and causing major property damage. That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule inspections with an emergency tree service to diagnose problems before they snowball and become severe, especially if you live in an area that’s prone to extreme weather or pests.
Emergency Tree Service in Fort Worth, Texas
Removing a beloved tree from your property can be quite hard. However, once a tree sustains enough damage or dies, it becomes a danger to you and your family. If you have such a tree on your property or suspect a tree recently sustained damage from extreme weather, pests, or environmental changes, take action immediately. An emergency tree service will diagnose the extent of damage accurately and determine the safest course of action.
At S&P Tree Service, we are the number one tree service in Fort Worth, Texas. Our fully trained, licensed, and insured crew is fully equipped to handle any commercial or residential projects, and we offer customer-friendly prices. Contact us today for more information about our services and consultation. We’d love to help.