Tree Rotting at the Base: What You Can Do

Landscapes look better with healthy trees providing good homes for helpful wildlife while exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen. However, some trees become sick or start dying, becoming a hazard.

You may need to call a tree removal service in Vero Beach, FL if you see a tree rotting at the base. Here’s what tree rot looks like and what you can do to help.

tree rotting at the base

What Is Tree Rot and Why Does It Happen?

Also known as tree decay, the rot causes decomposition at different tree parts, like trunk or root rot. Wood-decaying fungi can enter the tree from poor pruning habits, storm or animal damage, or old age. Typically, softwood trees decay faster than hardwood trees. 

The rot generally manifests in three ways:

White Rot

This type starts as a strange bulging form in the tree trunk, roots, or dead branches. The wood contains lignin and cellulose, which break down and become wet, fibrous, and spongy. As the rot progresses, the bulge may buckle or ooze.

Brown Rot

A different kind of fungus breaks down hemicellulose and cellulose but not lignin. The lignin retention causes the rotting wood to retain its color while it becomes brittle. Brown rot causes the tree’s innards to shrink, making it more susceptible to damage and likely to fall over.

Soft Rot

Bacteria and fungi break down cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. It softens the wood and increases its decay rates but lacks the wetness or brittleness of the other two types.

Rot Prevention Methods for Your Trees

You have a few options when you recognize the signs of your tree rotting at the base. Monitor the amount of rot present to make better prevention or management decisions.

Allow the Tree To Manage Itself

If the tree seems healthy otherwise or the rot is in a small area, you can leave your tree to handle it. Like our body’s immune system, trees have preventative measures to keep decay from spreading to other tree parts.

Assist the Tree With Nutrients

If your tree seems to be struggling or has more prominent weaknesses, water and fertilize the tree. However, it’s important to know how early you should start fertilizing young trees.

Call an Arborist for Pruning or Removal

If the base of the tree has substantial rotting, you may need to lighten its load. The tree will likely try to repair all its branches with less energy. Careful, professional pruning can reduce the parts the tree must worry about.

However, if the tree has sustained too much damage, you may need to give up and allow its removal. A tree that cannot protect itself can become a hazard to you and your neighbors.

Get Top-Quality Arborist Care

A tree health assessment can help identify the condition of your tree and see whether you need to assist or remove it. King Tree Management wants to help you retain as many trees as possible. Call (772) 633-1939 if you notice infected trees or a tree rotting at the base around Indian River County property today.

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