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Tree Blog

Patch of mushrooms growing on a dying tree trunk

Signs Your Tree May Be Rotting

Trees can rot from the inside out. This is called internal tree rot, which happens when trees are exposed to high carbon dioxide levels or other factors such as drought and improper fertilization. It is a slow process that has the potential to result in severe damage to the tree. The disease can cause a tree to die as it allows opportunistic fungi and wood-decaying organisms to spread through the plant. Knowledge of how to identify internal tree rot is helpful in terms of diagnosing and treating the illness.

1. Holes or Cracks in the Bark

The main symptom of internal tree rot is the presence of holes or cracks in the bark. These holes are usually small, but some will be larger. They can be very irregular in size and shape. If the wood is rotten, these areas will likely have lesions where bacteria have taken hold through a fungus and its enzymes. Some trees may show this condition only on one side, while others offer it on all sides of the tree. In severe cases, those that contain a carbuncle will also have several holes on the affected side of the bark.

2. Black Spots on the Bark

Black spots on the bark can be seen in various shapes and sizes. The spots are easily identifiable if they have a uniform but dark color. They may not be unevenly distributed across the bark, but they can be on the trunk and at or near any area where the tree branches. These spots are likely to be similar in shape to a spot caused by a saw blade hitting wood.

3. Dead Sections of the Trunk or Branches

In severe cases, parts of the trunk and branches can die. When they do, they turn brown and become brittle. In these areas, the bark will appear covered in small scales with cracks running through them. These are called cankers. They are small at first, but over time they grow larger until they reach the inner part of the tree trunk. Once this happens, little can be done to save it from dying. If it has not gotten this far yet, there are very effective ways to treat internal tree rot before it becomes this bad.

4. Discolored Bark

Signs of external tree rot are seen when there is discoloration on the bark. The discoloration may be uniform or cover large sections of the surface. It also often appears as if it has been sprayed on the bark. In many instances, it is possible to see a pattern. This pattern can be round, oval, or very irregular in shape.

Trees are affected by a wide variety of things, but internal tree rot is one of the most dangerous. This condition arises due to certain external factors but becomes lethal in a place where it can spread freely. Its symptoms are often easily identifiable on a tree, and several methods can help reduce their occurrence. If you are wondering how to detect tree rot near Greenville, NC, contact Eastern Tree Pros today for expert tree services.