Last week we talked about stress on trees and what that might look like. We listed some of the most noticeable symptoms such as wilting leaves and fungi on the branches or trunk.
Now, let’s look at what might cause tree stress. Causes can be biological, physical, mechanical, or a combination of all three.
Several causes of tree stress have to do with the soil, such as flooding. We already talked about how prolonged flooding could put a tree at risk in an earlier post. The biggest issue here is the reduction of oxygen due to standing water around the tree.
Unfortunately, it’s common for the cause of tree stress to be human activity. For example, too much foot traffic around the base of the tree can make the soil too compact. This makes it difficult for the roots to grow and the soil to retain water.
Also, be sure to be careful when using weed cutters and lawnmowers around the base of the tree. You could damage the bark on the trunk or the roots themselves. This leaves the tree more susceptible to infection, bacteria, and pests.
Besides flooding, there are other types of severe weather that can seriously harm trees. Severe storms and hurricanes are common in Florida year round. There are several issues that could arise from storms.
Heavy wind can very easily snap branches off of trees, especially those already weakened. The area where the branch snapped off leaves the tree open to getting infected easily.
Lightning, extreme heat, and prolonged drought can also cause tree stress.
Basically, anything that leaves a tree weakened leaves it more susceptible to dangerous infections, bacteria, and pests; some of which can lead to tree death.
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