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Monday, April 10, 2017

Tree Dead on the Inside is Normal

Q. What’s wrong with my tree? The tree is dying from the inside to the outside.  I can see dead wood on the inside that is rotting through a big hole in the side of the tree.
All trees that are not in the grass family, such as palm trees, are dead on the inside and the living part is just under the bark.

A.  Older trees are dead on the inside and have a cylinder of living tissue just under the bark.  If the dead wood inside of the tree becomes infected with wood-rotting microorganisms, they can consume the entire inside of the tree, eventually leaving it hollow but alive. 
            The center of the tree can get infected with these microorganisms when large branches break or they are removed with an unsanitary chain saw.  It is important to remove broken branches as soon as possible with a sanitized chainsaw or hand saw.  The remaining wound is left to heal on its own without any sealer being applied.
            The dead wood inside the tree has little chance of fighting off wood-rotting microorganisms.  Once infected, these microorganisms spread easily through the dead, internal parts of the tree. 
            These microorganisms do not invade or damage healthy, living parts of the tree.  Keep trees healthy with appropriate irrigations.  Fertilize them once a year in early spring.  Sanitize and sharpen any tools that cut into any healthy parts of the tree.  

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