A healthy tree can be a source of natural beauty, a playground for children, and the backdrop to decades of family memories. When trees suffer the effects of storms, diseases, and other problems, they can shed dead branches, becoming unsightly and dangerous. With proper tree care, you can reduce the risk of dead branches and improve the look of your yard.
Not Enough Room for Roots to Grow
The root system of your trees might not be as visible as their leaves and branches, but every part of your tree depends on an extensive root system for water and nutrients. If the tree is too close to your home’s foundation or any other structure, it might be unable to grow the roots it needs.
Fungal infections can spread from one tree to another through contact with dead branches, contaminated water, gardening implements, or incidental contact with humans or other animals. If you notice sprouting bodies on the surface of your trees or yellow spots on the leaves, it might be signs of fungus. Since fungus spreads through contact, you should have a professional remove tree fungus to avoid inadvertently spreading the fungus to other nearby trees.
Insect and Animal Infestation
Many insects consume wood, use trees for shelter, or burrow into trees to draw upon water and sap. Additionally, birds like the woodpecker eat insects that bore into the tree.
A healthy tree can withstand some insects and birds. However, the damage to the bark and interior can become severe enough to compromise the tree. As a result, your tree might shed branches in an attempt to heal.
Storm Damage and Other Trauma
Impacts from wind-blown debris, lightning strikes, and loss of leaves and small branches can cause significant harm to your trees. Vandalism, such as carving into a tree’s bark, can also damage the tree. Widespread damage could kill the tree or force it to shed branches.
What to Do About Dead Branches
Trim Your Tree
Tree trimming is a great way to improve the look of your trees and keep them healthy. When a branch dies, gently remove it as the tree will redirect nutrients to healthy tree branches.
Remove Fallen Branches
Don’t leave fallen tree branches on the ground to decompose and become a potential tripping hazard. When they die, carry them to a yard waste receptacle and wash your hands afterward.
Clear Away Dead Trees That Are Carrying Disease
If a tree on your property falls prey to infestation or fungus, leaving it in place could harm other trees. Insects and fallen leaves or branches can easily spread disease.
However, a dead tree that does not currently have an infestation of dangerous pests can be a refuge for beneficial wildlife. A tree expert can tell you whether it is safe to leave a dead tree where it is.
Take Care When Planting Trees
Space saplings and young trees out when planting them. Years or decades later, when the trees reach maturity, they will have room to grow. Your family will not have to worry about clearing away dead branches in the future.