If you're like most homeowners, you appreciate the beauty, shade, and wind protection provided by the mature trees in your landscaping. Most trees don't ask for much in return. Their deep root systems access underground water sources, so except in times of extreme drought, most established trees won't need any extra summer watering, and most mature trees don't require a great deal of pest and pathogen controls or artificial fertilizers. However, in order for trees to truly thrive, it's important that homeowners know the initial indications that the tree may be experiencing failing health. Unfortunately, by the time obvious signs begin to show up, such as unexpected defoliation, extreme leaf curl, or fruiting fungal bodies on and around the trunk, it may be too late to save the tree. If you notice the early symptoms of distress, however, the tree might be able to be saved. Crown dieback is one of the early signs that something may be wrong with your tree. Here's what you need to know about this condition.
How to Spot Crown Dieback
As its name implies, crown dieback is when the crown of the tree starts to die back. Many homeowners don't even notice this condition, however, because it's difficult to discern unless you're far enough away from the tree to be able to get a clear view of the crown. About once a month during the growing season, go a block or two from your home and look at your trees for any sign of crown dieback.
Several Causes of Crown Dieback
A variety of factors are known to cause this condition. Insect pests, fungal pathogens, and decaying root systems are all known culprits when it comes to crown dieback. It can be caused by drought because the tree's vascular system isn't receiving enough water from the roots. By the same token, it can be caused by flooding because the waterlogged soils can cause a condition called root rot.
What to Do if You See Crown Dieback
If it's been especially dry in your area, try giving the tree some water and see if that alleviates the condition. If this isn't the case, it's probably time to enlist the assistance of a professional arborist. This person can diagnose the problem and apply the necessary controls. For instance, if the trees roots have been flooded, the situation can possibly be remedied by aerating the surrounding soil. Chemical controls may be applied if the issue is caused by pathogens or insects. The sooner you seek professional tree care after noticing crown dieback, the better your tree's chances of recovery.
Contact a company like Affordable Tree Care to learn more.