Why Do Trees Die?
Trees provide environmental value in many ways, from oxygen to food to shelter. All trees die eventually, but have you wondered why? In a past blog post, we discussed how to identify and care for a sick tree. Today, the pros at Nixa Lawn Service explains the five factors that cause trees to die: disease, a toxic environment, old age, tragic events, and deforestation.
Disease and Insects
Most trees remain sturdy for decades. However, insects, fungi, and tree disease can cause great harm. Pine beetles are known to spread a deadly disease called Dutch Elm Disease. Other fungal diseases include Oak Wilt, which affects oak trees, and Armillaria Root Rot that affects many kinds of trees. These pathogens permeate the tree’s roots and leaves and damage its vascular system. Then, harmful insects will eat and break down the wood, and often remove its leaves to the point of death.
An adverse environment is another cause of dying trees. If the ground and site conditions are not favorable, problems can occur. Each tree species is tolerant to specific ecological conditions. For example, some trees are sensitive to drought, and you should not plant them on a dry site during drought conditions. Other environmental stressors include soils that drain poorly, extreme sun heating, air pollution, and more.
Sometimes trees die from old age. An older tree has a weak immune system, becomes more susceptible to infections, and loses the ability to support itself. A mature tree collapses slowly and decays into pieces, becoming the topsoil and nutrients for new trees. Typically, the bigger the tree is, the longer it lives. Smaller trees will usually live for 15 to 20 years, while oaks and pines can live for two or three centuries.
Nixa Lawn Service can inspect older trees on your property, diagnosing and handling any issues that arise.
Unfortunately, tragic events can occur in vast forests or urban areas. Severe tree damage can happen during a tornado, forest fire, flood, or an extraordinary drought. Many times, the trees are not killed but damaged enough that they lose resistance, and disease and insects exploit this weakness.
Deforestation is a global problem that refers to the destruction or loss of natural forests. Deforestation is mainly due to humans cutting down trees, but wildfires also destroy sections of forests each year. Tropical rainforests, in particular, are at risk of being affected by deforestation, which can wipe out habitats and prevent young trees from growing.
In most instances, trees die because many of these factors coincide.
Our Tree Services Can Help
Whether you’re looking to add new trees or maintain old ones in your yard, Nixa Lawn Service can help. We offer a variety of tree services, including the planting, trimming, and inspection of trees. Call (417) 724-0318 today to get started with any of these trees services.