Dieback Tree Disease
Are You Looking For Buds In All The Wrong Places?
Right now our deciduous trees in Atlanta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, and Cumming are starting to leaf out and one of easiest ways to get an indication of their vitality is to visually look for die back or decline in their foliage. This means to look for limbs or sections of a tree that don't have leaves. Dieback is defined as a condition in which the ends of the branches are dying. These sections are generally located at the limb tips, but can also be entire limbs or sections of the tree where there are no leaves.
For example, when you look at your trees this spring and see that the buds are starting to leaf out with the warm weather, you may see an entire section or a large limb that is not leafing out like the rest of the tree. This is most likely an indication that something is not right with the whole tree. Another indication of stress can be large amounts of water sprouts or sucker growth on the interior of the tree. A water sprout or sucker growth can be described as small shoots growing directly from the trunk or larger limbs of the tree. Don't be mistaken if you see leaves on the sucker growth, this is still an indication of overall tree stress.
If you find that your trees show some of these signs keep in mind that when they are stressed, they become much more susceptible to secondary offenses associated with insect infestation or disease that once sets in can kill trees. If you start to see smaller limbs and twigs falling down from the extremities of the tree, the tree is letting you know that it is stressed! If you start to see many larger limbs, starting at 3'' to 4" in diameter or even large sections falling from the tree, the tree is more than likely in an advanced stage of stress.
Having a Healthy Tree
When the bark of your once healthy tree becomes brittle, spongy, and even starts to fall off, it may be too late to save your tree. If you are concerned with any of the trees on your property, this is usually an indication that you have noticed something that is not right. The sooner you contact an arborist, one who is educated to assess your tree(s), the more cost effective it becomes for you. Talk about going green! Some of the situations that may cause your trees to not grow green this spring are as follows. Insect infestations, tree diseases, construction impact, and the accumulative drought are all factor.
Surprisingly, trees can feel the effects of construction impact and droughts indefinitely which in turn, makes them more susceptible to the tree diseases and insect infestation. Keep in mind that massive amounts of development have highly stressed and killed many of our trees. In fact, many times families purchase a specific lot in a development over another because the lot is wooded or at least has some trees, only to have these trees become severely stressed or die from the impacts associated with construction.