"The world of trees is deceptive," says R.J. Laverne, a certified arborist. "Even the strongest, heftiest trees can fall victim to severe winter weather, disease or infestation."
Laverne says, when it comes to trees, being proactive is key. "By the time you notice a tree is sick or in danger, time to inspect trees following large amounts of snow, ice or wind. New damage may have it's usually too late and broken limbs or rotten trunks will have you wishing you had checked your trees earlier."
Laverne recommends following these guidelines to save countless trees. It only takes 10 minutes.
STEP ONE: INSPECT TREES. Want healthy trees all year long? Now is the time to inspect them. Particularly take occurred and old damage may have worsened from the wear and tear of Mother Nature.
Inspect trees from the bottom up by checking for the following signs:
- Hollow trunks
- Small holes in trunk
- Decay, such as cankers, cracks, soft or crumbling bark, and fungal activity
- Shallow pits in the bark
- Dead twigs and branches
STEP TWO: LOOK FOR SPECIFIC TREE PROBLEMS. Inclement weather isn't the only event threatening the health of your trees. Diseases and bug infestations can wipe out entire lots and species of trees. The emerald ash borer (EAB), for example, rampant in 21 states, is attacking thousands of ash trees across the U.S.
These sparkly green bugs, approximately an inch long, emerge from ash trees in the spring. D-shaped holes or shallow S-shaped trails under the bark are telltale signs that EAB has made your tree its home. If signs of an invasive infestation are present, take note and notify a professionally trained, certified arborist immediately.
"Remember that these inspections don't have to be limited to trees on your property," says Laverne. "When taking a walk or playing at the park, take a few minutes to look at the trees there as well. You may just be saving a life!"
STEP THREE: SCHEDULE A TREE CHECK-UP. Notice something that worries you? When in doubt, schedule a free consultation. Hire a professionally trained arborist and provide the best care for your trees. Arborists will acknowledge current hazards, explain potential concerns and may find something you missed.
Remember, saving trees can be done quickly and will save money in the long run. In most cases, treating trees is far less expensive than removing and replacing them.