4 Steps for Checking Tree Health before Summer Storm Season

Summer storms can wreak havoc on even the healthiest of trees. But if you have a tree that you suspect may be diseased, damaged, or dying, summer storms can spell danger for you, your family, and your property, as winds and rains can bring trees crashing down to earth. The best way to prevent summer storm damage from trees is to fix any problematic trees before summer starts.

 You don’t need to call a professional right away; you can check your trees for signs of problems on your own. Here are 4 steps for checking your trees’ health before the summer storm season:


Start at the Bottom

 Begin your evaluation of the tree at the bottom. Check the base of the tree, around the roots, looking for soft spots or signs of decay. Look at the soil surrounding the base of the tree, checking to see if it is heaved up or shows obvious signs of disturbance. Rotten, diseased roots loosen their hold on the rest of your tree, and can cause it to fall during a heavy storm. Also, if the roots are damaged, the rest of the tree can’t receive proper nutrients, leaving it more susceptible to disease and decay. Since you can’t immediately see root-based problems as you walk past a tree, it’s important to check carefully from time to time.


Check the Collar

 A tree’s collar is the point where the trunk and roots meets the ground, and it can hide a whole host of problems with your tree. Carefully pull back any grass or ground cover to look for any bark that may be missing, falling off, or broken. Also look to see if there are cracks in the trunk, which can be a sign of decay. The collar of the tree can be difficult to keep dry, meaning the growth of bacteria, moss, fungus, and other issues that can compromise your tree’s health are more common.


Look at the Trunk

 Now that you’ve checked the bottom of the tree, work your way up the trunk, where damage may be more apparent. Deep, large cracks in the trunk signify structural weakness, which will need to be attended to. Swelling or an overgrowth of bark in one area can indicate decay. Check the bark for areas where it may be missing, broken, or discolored. Any of these can indicate disease or decay, which can impact your tree’s overall health and stability.


Examine the Branches

 The final portion of your tree health evaluation is to look at the branches and leaves. Check for missing or hanging branches, or branches that appear to be missing bark, as these can be early signs of decay. If you see branches that show no signs of new leaf growth, your tree may be diseased or have damage that needs remedied. Also, look closely for leaves that appear to be colored differently from the rest of the tree, as this can indicate a problem.


Contact Maryland’s Tree Experts

At Appalachian Tree Company, we specialize in keeping your trees healthy and beautiful for years to come. We can help you evaluate your tree’s health and, if necessary, take steps to remove a hazardous tree before it becomes a danger to your home and family. Contact us today for all your tree-trimming and tree removal needs.

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