How One Dead Branch Can Kill a Tree
A single dead branch can kill a tree. And although it might take years for a dead branch to cause the death of a tree, having a dead tree on your property could put you and your home at risk. So, it's important that you act quickly to remove dead branches as soon as you spot them.
If not removed in time, a dead branch could kill a tree in one of two ways.
Diseases and Pests Can Spread From Dead Branches
Branches die for many reasons. Sometimes, trees simply no longer have any need for a branch because it doesn't provide enough food. In this case, a tree will cut off the branch's food supply, eventually causing the branch to die.
Whatever the reason, you should hire an arborist to remove dead branches as soon as possible. Dead wood attracts pests and diseases. For instance, carpenter ants build their nests inside dead branches and trees. And while they won't invade the living wood of the tree, they will attract other pests, such as termites, which will.
Diseases too can work their way through a dead branch and into the living tissue of a tree's trunk. When this happens, the tree will slowly die from the inside out.
Dead Branches Fall and Damage Other Branches
Large branches that have died are not just a danger to you and your home; they are also a danger to the tree itself. During a storm, for example, high winds could bring a dead branch crashing down from a tree's canopy. On its way down, a large branch could cause considerable damage to other, living branches.
This will, in turn, leave those damaged branches at the mercy of invasion by pests and diseases. If multiple branches are damaged in this way, the tree could die within a few months as it won't be able to heal multiple branches before diseases or pests move in.
Hire an Arborist to Remove Dead Branches
Don't wait for a dead branch to kill your tree. Even before the tree dies, it will be a danger to you. As it dies, its other branches will die, and its root system will die too, weakening the tree's anchorage and increasing the risk of it coming down in a storm.
Call a reputable tree service in your area as soon as you spot a dead branch in your tree's canopy, especially if that branch is large enough to damage the rest of the tree, or worse, your home.