What To Do After The Death of a Tree

It sounds like something right out of a horror movie, but there is a chance it will happen in your life: one day you are looking out your window or mowing your lawn and you observe it: your exquisite tree has passed away. Just like in many horror movies, there were signs and symptoms that you saw long before it happened, but you just disregarded them as “normal” or something that “nature will take care of.”

However, once the tree has died, there is a chance that the horror movie has just started. How you handle the situation going forward will decide whether the other trees and greenery in your garden will be far behind it. Dead trees need to be addressed properly so that you can continue to have a wholesome ecosystem in your yard.

So, what should you do?

Here are some places to start becoming the hero that saves the day:

4. Check for Invasive Species

  • Beetles are the most common killers
  • Can diffuse to other trees or plant life in your yard
  • Might require experienced, competent help of some kind

If you have trees, there is a chance that you have bugs as well. We can’t really control insects as they move around the planet- we can spray, put up traps, and use DIY methods, but sometimes they just get through no matter what you do.  Often, since nature does remedy itself, it isn’t a huge problem. However, some infestations can create big problems that you can’t overcome. This is because the pests (most often they are bugs) are feeding off of the tree, taking in the water and nutrition that it needs to remain alive. Your tree has been starved and is now extremely week. Often, the bugs aren’t even the cause of the death – it is something else that was able to quickly take over in its weakened state.

According to Gardener’s Path, infestations can kill trees really quickly as well. There are certain species that can kill a tree in a matter of weeks. It really depends on the ecosystem around your home and the overall health of your yard.

If your tree is dying or just looks to be extremely unhealthy, look to see if there are insects or the fragments of insects or pests (spaces, fecal matter, nests, or shells). This means you have a massive problem and you should probably reach out to an expert of some sort– either a tree care professional or a pest management service provider.

3. Root Rot Causes Death Symptoms – But Maybe Not Death

  • Common complication during springtimes
  • If the tree is healthful, leave it be for a while
  • Talk to an expert if you have questions

One of the bright spots for people who think their trees are dead might come if something else is at play. Tree can “play dead” in some situations where they show symptoms of death without being too close to it.

This might be because it has too much water around the roots. This can come from irrigation or too much rain.

According to Gardenerdy, “If there is a water-logging at the foot of the tree, make sure to devise a proper drainage system for the same. You may opt for removing soil from water-logged area and exposing the roots to fresh air for a few days.” If you aren’t sure how to do this safely by yourself, you may want to reach out to a professional who has the tools and knowledge of how to do this without causing even more damage to the tree.

2. Consider What You Will Plant Next

  • Be careful when purchasing new trees or greens
  • Make sure the dirt is prepared for a new tree
  • Consider new types of trees– or the same varieties in some cases

After a tree has died and has been removed properly (meaning the stump has been removed) many people don’t waste any time in putting something new into the ground – which can create a cycle of problems.

According to the Royal Horticulture Society, “Plants that have been killed by a disease, in particular a soil borne disease (e.g. honey fungus, Phytophthora root rot or Verticillium wilt) or difficult to control foliage/stem disease (e.g. box blight) are best replaced with something that shows resistance. Lists of resistant plants or those not affected can be found on our advice pages of common garden plant diseases. Plants that suffer from replant disease (e.g. roses) should not be replaced with the same type of plant.”

Once again, knowing why the tree died and how to move forward can save you quite a bit of heartache and pain into the future.

1. Get In Touch With a Tree Care Professional

  • There is an opportunity to save your trees in many, many cases
  • Only professionals can manage some removals safely – especially those caused by diseases
  • Can help you to move forward and plant new trees or greenery

According to the Tree Care Industry Association, no matter when your tree passes, a professional assessment is always best. This will help to clear up any lingering questions that you may have and to start fixing your garden so that you can get a new tree planted.  Many tree care professionals can also help with landscaping, hardscaping, or gardening concerns after the death of a tree.

Whatever you do, don’t try to take trees down by yourself as it can be extremely unsafe and you will most likely hurt yourself, another structure in your yard, or even your other trees. Most people do not have the capabilities to take trees down themselves, nor do they have the skills to move forward successfully.

Simply put, it isn’t worth it to put yourself and your trees through a sequel to the horror movie that you are facing – the sequels are never as good as the original.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Redwood City, give Econo Tree Service a call today at (650) 200-2495. We will help you to better understand your trees and how to handle any watering, planting, pruning, or other tree issues that you may find – of course, we can also help you with other issues as well. We will provide you with the best possible tree service.

Header image thanks to Chris on Flickr!
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