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How are your trees looking?
- Autumn is ideal to do your own audit on tree health.
- Your trees should appear as if they are going through their normal bedtime routine; if you notice anything unusual then take a closer look.
- Leaves that turn brown might be dying rather than undergoing their autumn senescence.
- Outer branches losing leaves earlier than the rest of the tree might be exhibiting dieback.
Things to look out for to in an unsafe tree
Damage or injury
- Splits or cracks in the trunk or branches.
- Branches that are broken, hanging or that have dropped.
- Sections of bark damaged or stripped to show the wood beneath (remember that some trees such as Plane or Eucalyptus naturally shed their bark).
- Soil movement around the base of the tree in strong winds.
Ill health, disease or infestation
- Sections showing signs of rotting.
- Growth of fungi on the bark, wood or around the base of the tree. Autumn is the ideal time of year to see many of the fungi that can indicate problems with your tree, but not all fungi are parasitic on the tree.
- Ivy on a tree is not necessarily harmful but it can represent a hazard if the tree is heavily infested with ivy. The weight and extra wind resistance will increase the loading on the tree structure, it can make inspecting and climbing the tree difficult, it can hide potential defects. Occasionally bats and birds roost in the ivy but where a tree is near public places or property it is a good idea to cut he ivy at the base before it gets to big on the tree but be care ful not to damage the tree bark.
- Sections of infestations showing holes and damaged material.
- Foliage dying back or going brown for no apparent reason on evergreen trees, or out of season for deciduous trees.
Just one more thing to add before autumn. If you have a variegated maple such as variety ‘Drumondii’ Check the foliage before it drops for autumn and remove any shoots or small branches that have reverted to green. The green will take over from the variegation unless the green stems are nipped in the bud so to speak. So don’t wait till spring remove them now whilst you can still differentiate between variegated and green foliage.