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Inspecting Trees for Root Rot and Insect Damage

Posted on May 11th, 2016

Inspecting Trees for Root Rot and Insect Damage

In the twenty years in the business of arbor care we have found that a good inspection of your trees is a good idea for anyone who wants to prevent storm damage to their property in Arlington, TX. Inspecting and visualizing any problems will not stop damage from occurring, however, it gives way for some preventative maintenance and even storm damage prevention of trees.

Inspecting the crown of the tree for cavities

A crown of the tree is the main 2 to 5 branches of the tree where the branches separate and become their own independent limbs. A cavity is any opening, usually a limb, that was not properly cut in the past or just an opening close to the crown of the tree where water and dirt can store itself in the cracks or crevices. These areas can form cavities over time, creating havens for termites, carpenter ants, and other wood destroying insects such as Japanese Beetles.

Most people do not realize that ants are three times more likely to destroy your trees than termites. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, however, they do bring dirt into your tree or find existing dirt to make a nest, while digging tunnels to shape the housing area. Carpenter ants can destroy the inside core of the tree going undetected for years until the tree falls and by this time it is too late to save the tree.

Termites, although not as often destructive to your tree as ants, will enter the tree through the root flare making it difficult to spot and treat early. They feed cellulose which is an organic compound found on the cell walls of the tree.

Most the time the tree is damaged with one of three things before termites will get in your tree. This will be either excessive water cavities providing a source of water for the termite colony, an existing root rot that has occurred from formed cavities or damaged trees due to improper limb trimming and destructive storm damage, or an existing opening that has softened or ripped past the core of the trees outer layer.

How to inspect damage to your tree

Although the best option for a tree inspection is to hire an experienced tree arborist to climb the core canopy looking for signs, with the right equipment, you can do a DIY inspection on the ground level. A common medical device used to monitor heart rate called a stethoscope can be used to listen to the inner parts of your trees, allowing you to listen for activity from ants and termites. We have found this tool to be very effective because termites and ants do not rest. They are always moving and working. The sound will be very apparent as well.

Call us today for a free professional root rot and insect damage inspection if you suspect these occurrences maybe going happening with your trees.

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