How To Tackle Signs Of Visible Decay and Deadwood On Your Trees

If you have a stand of trees on your commercial property, or even just a specimen or two in your grounds, you will be able to appreciate the beauty they can bring to your outdoor space. Keeping them healthy is vital for maintaining the health of the trees, but also for the health and safety of your grounds, so if you have visible signs of decay or deadwood, this article will help you understand your next steps in dealing with this problem.

Trees are not only an essential part of our natural environment but also valuable assets in our landscapes, providing beauty, shade, and ecological benefits. However, like all living organisms, trees can suffer from various issues, including visible decay and deadwood. These problems not only affect a tree's health but also pose risks to property and safety. In this article, we'll explore how to tackle signs of visible decay and deadwood on your trees to ensure their well-being and safety.

The winter offers a perfect opportunity to take a good look at trees without their foliage to see if there are any obvious structural problems such as broken branches, crossing boughs or branches that have become too weighted with fresh growth. Deadwood that might’ve been concealed under a dense canopy can also become revealed once the leaves have dropped from deciduous trees as well.


Understanding Visible Decay and Deadwood

Although you might have big, strong looking trees that look like they have stood for years, and will continue to stand for years to come, visible decay and deadwood in trees are signs of internal issues that, if left unattended, can lead to tree decline or even failure. These issues can result from a variety of factors, including fungal infections, insect infestations, physical damage, or simply the natural aging process.

Deadwood refers to branches or limbs that have died and are no longer producing leaves or buds. They can be identified by their lack of foliage, often appearing dry, brittle, and without bark. This can be through disease that is taking a hold over the tree or something dramatic having damaged the tree such as large storms in the year.

Visible Decay is the presence of rot or cavities within the tree's trunk or branches. It may manifest as discoloured, soft, or spongy wood, along with fungal growth on the tree's surface.

Tackling Visible Decay and Deadwood

  • Regular Inspection: Conduct regular visual inspections of your trees to identify any signs of deadwood or decay. Pay close attention to areas where branches attach to the trunk and the lower portions of the tree.

  • Pruning: Deadwood removal is a critical component of tree maintenance. Prune dead branches back to the main trunk or a healthy lateral branch. This not only improves the tree's aesthetics but also eliminates safety hazards.

  • Consult a Professional: If the decay is extensive or affects a large portion of the tree, it's advisable to consult a professional arborist or tree surgeon. They have the expertise and equipment to safely address severe decay issues.

  • Disease Management: If the decay is a result of a fungal or bacterial infection, treatment may be possible. A professional can recommend appropriate measures, such as pruning, fungicide applications, or cultural practices to manage the disease.

  • Insect Control: Certain insects can bore into trees, creating entry points for decay-causing organisms. If you suspect insect infestations, consult with an arborist to assess the situation and implement appropriate control measures.

  • Preventive Care: Regularly mulching, watering, and fertilizing your trees can help maintain their overall health, making them more resilient to decay and other stressors.

  • Safety Considerations: When dealing with tree pruning and removal, safety should be a top priority. Utilize proper safety equipment, and consider hiring professionals for tasks that involve climbing or large branches.

  • Environmental Responsibility: Dispose of deadwood and pruned branches responsibly. Consider recycling or repurposing wood when possible, and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Addressing signs of visible decay and deadwood on your trees is not only essential for the health and longevity of the trees themselves but also for the safety of your property and those who enjoy your outdoor spaces. Regular inspection, timely pruning, and professional assistance when needed are key to maintaining the vitality and beauty of your trees. By taking a proactive approach to tree care, you can ensure that your landscape remains a safe and thriving environment for years to come.


Contact Us

If you are a facilities manager, property or landowner looking for help with your trees, your grounds maintenance, soft landscaping work or are looking for a regular maintenance contract, get in touch with us.

Telephone: (0114) 269 9119




Request a Free Quote