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Why do Trees Die?

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

You might have a tree that looks a little dead, maybe has some dead wood in the canopy, or you've noticed some changes of bark color, or branches falling on the ground, or an excessive amount of leaves on the ground. What causes that? Well, there isn't a one size fits all solution for this, however with a little bit of deduction you can narrow down your issues and hopefully find a solution. When a tree dies it's likely due to 4 possibilities; Disease, Infestation, Dehydration, Cold. To understand which of these issues is the culprit you have to think about the history of the tree. Living in Florida, most of the time we can rule out the cold weather. Occasionally on some smaller species of trees this can be an issue, but most of the time we don't need to consider this option. Lets take a look at disease. Why do trees get diseases? Well just like any living thing they're susceptible to bacteria and fungus, especially through open wounds, think previous trimming or larger cuts especially. The trees vascular system needs to be able to quickly and efficiently heal over cuts which is why its very important to make proper cuts. So if you notice any open tree wounds and a dying tree, this could be the culprit. Now lets take a look at infestations. It's no secret bugs love trees. Well about 22 species of bugs account for the vast majority of tree and landscape damage. If you notice bur-holes, or many small bugs this could be the problem, not to mention these bugs could carry diseases from tree to tree. It is important to get the problem tree removed and the infestation handled immediately to prevent any further damage to surrounding trees. This leaves us with one more reason your tree could be dying. Lack of water. All trees need water, especially here in Florida. Oak trees consume thousands of gallons of water annually. Luckily nature provides much of that water, however occasionally we have dryer seasons and this is when the tree can become stressed due to lack of water. Not just oaks; palm trees, crepe myrtles, and magnolias all need their fair amount of water. So if you notice your tree looking a little dry, lets go ahead and run that hose over there root system for a few minutes.

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