Tree Health Inspections in Spring

As the weather begins to break over the next few weeks, trees will produce showy blossoms and begin to leaf out. This is a great time to identify tree health problems.

Inspecting your trees for signs of dead wood is helpful in determining the condition of the tree. Dead wood can be trimmed out of the tree to preserve the tree’s resources and reduce the chance of infestation and disease.

There are a few ways of figuring out exactly when you have dead wood on your hands, and we’ll go over a few ways of checking your trees to be sure to spot dead wood, or any other signs of tree health issues. Here are some signs to look for.

Leafless branches. Leafless branches amidst other branches having green leaves is one of the biggest signs that you have an issue on your hands. This is an easily identifiable and pretty obvious way to spot death in your trees in the spring and the summer. Another easily identifiable way to spot them is to see clinging dead leaves hanging out amongst other branches being bare, these are all bad signs.

The thing about dead branches is that they tend to not drop their leaves when they actually should, in all actuality they’ll hang onto them for dear life well into the winter – and sometimes the fat blade of the leaf will be ripped off by winter wind, leaving only the leaf stem left on the node.

Rotting Wood. Another big indicator of dead wood is rotting, falling bark that has fallen off and exposed the smooth wood underneath. Over time, old bark will naturally fall off of branches but this eventually gets replaced by new layers of bark, however if all you see is large areas of smooth wood then that’s not the sign you’re looking for in your garden.

Fungus. The last of the signs we’ll cover (and probably the most easy to spot) is large fungus. Fungi and wood conchs, as well as other kinds of visibly infecting organisms being spotted on your tree means that it’s time for it to go. These show up in mushroom-shaped organisms in colors like white, orange, and yellow.

Tree Assessment Techniques

Scraping to assess wood health. A few of the indicators you can use to be completely sure come down to things like scraping lightly and looking for green – which is you scraping the outside of the branch to look for the plant’s cambium, which is a thin green layer that turns brown when plants die.

Shaking the branch to check its flexibility is another big factor, dead wood snaps easily and also feels lighter, drier, and heavier – and will also be absent of buds. Early spring is when buds start to swell and break, and if you see even one bud that matches this description then you have a living branch on (or probably more precisely, in) your hands – meaning you’re already at a good start.

Sometimes you have to get up close and really examine the trees and branches to really get a good idea of whether you have living or dead wood on your hands, but if it’s in a higher tree sometimes you may need binoculars or a pole saw to help you really get the big picture.

We provide free tree assessments to help customers identify any problematic tree health issues on their property. In some cases problem areas can be trimmed out, and in other cases, the tree must be removed. It’s always important to address these quickly to reduce the spread of pests and disease and prevent a dangerous tree fall.

With decades of experience, we are the leading tree service company serving eastern Baltimore County and western Harford County from our location in Glen Arm, MD.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!