Exposed and Rotten Roots: Exposed roots are vulnerable to damage by landscaping equipment which can weaken the tree. Check your tree for signs such as dead branches, falling leaves, or mushrooms growing around the base. Watch for fungus, which is often the best indicator of rotten roots.
Vines: When the vines cover the ground around the base of your tree, the vines can form a blanket over the tree roots. When the leaves fall onto the blanket of vines, moisture from rain becomes trapped underneath, which can cause damage to the tree’s base. Vines growing on the tree make damage harder to spot and shade the tree from crucial sunlight.
Leaning Trees: A leaning tree can be a cause for concern; if your tree leans at a 15-degree or more angle, it could be a sign of wind or root damage. Trees that lean toward the east are more likely to fall because winds blow from the west.
Evidence of Lightning Strikes: If a lightning strike doesn’t kill the tree, it will open it to pathogens and insects that weaken it over time. Be sure to watch for signs of decay.
Ants: Ants nest in the cavities of trees and multiply. Carpenter ants compromise weaker trees by chewing tunnels through damp and damaged wood to form nests and colonize inside the tree, promoting decay.
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