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Beware Tree Zombies

zombie trees
Tree zombies are part of a healthy ecosystem, but don’t let them sneak up on you.

They won’t eat your brains. But they may crush your car. “Tree zombies” is the highly technical term used in the arborist world for trees that “don’t know they’re dead yet.”

These trees may look as leafy and flourishing as their neighbors but be rotten on the inside, or losing their grip on the ground. A little time, and less bad weather than you’d expect, will bring them down.

Any of these signs may indicate that you may have a zombie tree on your hands:

  • Splits or holes in the tree trunk
  • Splitting, peeling bark beyond what is normal for the species
  • Fungi growing on the tree trunk
  • Circular root(s) growing around the trunk
  • Many dead branches
  • Leaves that yellow and fall early
  • Roots cracking the soil or lifting out
  • Pronounced or increasing lean to one side
  • Heavy or lopsided branching

Sometimes these symptoms can prove meaningless; for instance, some types of fungus will grow on healthy trees. Some indicate problems curable if caught in time; for instance structural pruning can help a lopsided tree. Other times, unfortunately, a zombie-level problem will show no symptoms easily observed.

Uncertain if you’re hosting zombies? Tree Pros is happy to send a pro by your home to provide a free review. Just call (202) 771-1717 or complete our quick form.  In the meantime, Happy Halloween!

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