How to Break Up with Your Tree

Three signs it’s time: A Valentine’s Day arbor story.
The Davey Tree Expert Co. provides tree care, grounds maintenance and consulting services for residential, utility, commercial and government markets.

During this month of love, it’s important to know when to call it quits. Sometimes it’s clear when to “break up” with a tree; other times, it’s harder to tell. But when a tree falls ill, it goes from asset to liability.

Identifying a sick tree is easy, says Justin Bence, district manager for the Davey Tree Expert Company. “A visual inspection helps determine a sick tree,” he says. “If you see a problem at the base, there are probably significant problems up top.”

Evaluate trees’ health with three easy steps:

  • Get to the root of it. Look at the tree’s base and roots, looking for soft spots or decay. Check the collar, where the trunk and roots meet at the soil surface. Pull back grass or groundcover to check for decay, or missing or broken bark.
  • Examine inside. Look for deep cracks in the trunk, swelling or an overgrowth of bark.
  • Pay close attention. Look at the crown (the top of the tree) for broken branches, limbs with missing bark and branches with no new leaf growth come spring.

If a tree shows symptoms beyond normal seasonal changes, the next step
is to call a certified arborist. Taking action keeps the tree and area
around it safe. It’s more cost effective to treat and save a tree now
than to remove it later.

Soon you’ll meet a new tree that’s right for you. Plant it in the right place, and it will become your next long-lasting relationship.

Still not ready to cut those ties? Watch this video for more info.