Posts in Nature

All You Want to Know About Dead Trees

Trees are essential for the wellbeing of our environment, but like all humans, trees also have a finite life and may show some signs when they are dead or about to reach the end of their lives. Spotting dead trees can be complex, and if they are not removed in time, they can help ease the risk of wildfires, but can also aid the spread of diseases, and soil erosion. This guide will help you know about dead trees and how to spot them. 

Checking If the Tree is Dead

This is a tricky science, but experienced tree cutters (click here for tree services in Canberra) or those who have had a garden or backyard for years may find it easier to spot. Some possible signs of tree degradation include having fungi around the base of the tree, hanging or dead branches, twigs that are slim without buds, cracked or peeling barks and heaving soil erosion. Another test includes breaking twigs into half and noticing if it’s green or brown inside. Green is the sign of a healthy tree, while as brown twigs are a sign of dead trees. Also, dead twigs can be easier to break than those alive.

Another test is to see if there are insects or fungi around or near the tree bark. Bracket fungi and presence of insects are signs that the tree is either rotting from inside or dead. It is also worth noting that if trees that were upright earlier and have started bending by some degree, should be inspected. Finally, although it is normal for a tree to shed leaves in fall, in summer or spring this is a sign of an unhealthy tree.

Dead Trees are an Asset

It is a wide known fact that dead trees turn into assets after they are cut down. Apart from having an economic value, dead trees can be used to revitalize a soil or help in bringing the next phase of forestation to life. Dead trees are a necessary ingredient in the natural process of forestation. Fallen logs and barks can be an important place for large colonies of ants, who in turn are part of the food chain. Various animals feed on these ants. Likewise, woodpeckers and many other bird species thrive on dead trees and look for them to make their homes. Wood ducks use the tree cavity for nests, eagles use broken top snags, and the nuthatches too. The dead tree is critical for the bird ecosystem too.

There is further evidence that dead trees are of essence to mammals too. Dead wood on the ground is a shelter for Martens in cold seasons, fishes use barks inside water to catch insects, and lizard-like animals that are commonly known as salamanders also use fallen logs as their natural habitat. Hence, fallen tree barks when absorbed can lead to excessive moisture in the soil, helping the flow of nutrients, unless the bark had a disease that might do the opposite.

Lastly, it is noteworthy that dead trees can stop spreading of forest fires, in comparison to live green trees that can aid in its spread.