Root Zone Therapy

Rarely do trees suddenly die. Often, it’s a prolonged, grueling demise. Usually, it’s only after months, if not years of stress, that a tree begins to decline (or die). While a stressed tree may exhibit symptoms that only a Master Arborist might catch, even a layperson should notice the telltale signs of decline. There is a danger in ignoring these warnings and waiting to long.

Once your tree enters the death spiral of severe decline, no amount of money can bring it back. A large shade tree can cost hundreds, and more likely, thousands to remove. Such graceful giants can not be replaced in one’s lifetime. If your tree sends one or more of these distress calls, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us as soon as possible!

Healthy trees require healthy soil. Healthy soil has as much air & water space, as minerals & organic matter. Soil animals & beneficial microbes, which till & fertilize the soil, thrive in this rich environ. Compaction, caused by development, vehicles, lawn maintenance, foot traffic & animals, reduces water & oxygen, restricts root growth, and drives off the soil’s residents. It’s the #1 killer of our urban trees!

Our Root Zone Therapy corrects soil problems below your feet, so you can enjoy the trees above your head, for many years to come. Do your trees exhibit any of the below symptoms or signs? If so, please contact us as soon as possible! While you’re in the neighborhood, check out our slideshow below  (all photos copyright Randy Cyr, unless otherwise noted).

Anatomy of a Dying Shade Tree

anatomy of a tree including roots

(A) A competent arborist would know climbing spikes not only leave ugly scars, but can spread infectious disease like bacterial slime flux.

(B) Surface roots point to soil compaction, the #1 killer of our urban trees. Without the buffer of mulch, we kill our trees by walking & driving directly over their critical root zone.

(C) Mushrooms (conks) growing from roots, trunk & limbs, point to advanced decay (rot) which could be hazardous & require an evaluation by an independent consultant (someone other than the guy wanting to cut your tree down).

(D) Black, brown & white stains may point to borer infestation. Though exit holes may be as small as a pencil, inside there is likely considerable structural damage where they have laid their eggs.

(E) While localized sprouting can point to stress, widespread prolific sprouting, such as which occurs after topping, over-pruning & storm damage, may be a last ditch effort to stave off starvation.

(F) Pale, dwarfed & diseased leaves, as well as stunted sprout growth, point to stress (or decline). But how would you know unless you have a healthy tree to compare it to?

(G) Lichens & mosses can be like the canary in the coal mine. With a few exceptions, such as the base of old trees & the limbs of coastal live oaks, vigorous trees shed bark before these non-parasitic plants can get a foothold.

(H) Dieback (the progressive death of branches usually starting at the top) is the most telling symbol of decline. Pruning deadwood, without addressing root & soil problems, can give tree owners a false sense of security.

(I) Thinning crowns, another symbol of dieback, become perches for birds & the parasitic mistletoe they carry.

(J) When you begin to see more birds of prey than hear songbirds, you may have waited too late. Be wary of “arborists” willing to treat trees in severe decline.

(K) Spring: like species that leaf late, such as the oak on the right, are indicators of stress (or decline).

(L) Fall: like species that turn color or shed early, such as the oak on the right, are indicators of stress (or decline).

(M) Bacterial leaf scorch, spread by leafhoppers, appears in stressed (or declining) trees in late summer or early fall. If left untreated, death may come within a few years.

(N) Hypoxylon canker attacks trees in severe decline. Once the white,  olive, gray, tan, brown & black legions appear in the crown, branches can drop at any time. Upon spreading to the trunk, death may come within months or weeks.

(O) Once the base (butt) of your tree is covered with ambrosia beetle frass (fine sawdust), death may come within days. Time to call the tree removal service!

A Healthy Oak

healthy oak tree

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Tree Evaluations & Reports

Before you call a tree removal service, let our impartial consulting arborists identify potential hazards and diseases, and recommend proven solutions. Our approach spares our clients needless worry and, often, thousands of dollars in removal and treatment costs.