Trees, like all living organisms, have varying lifespans. Some trees live for 15 years, while others can live for millennia. Intuitively, most trees that grow quickly will tend to have shorter lifespans than their slower-growing counterparts.

Another consideration is that when you have a tree suddenly die in your yard, it may become a safety hazard. It’s best to seek professional help and schedule professional tree removal services. But how long can you expect your trees to thrive? 

In this post, we take a closer look at what causes a tree to die.

what causes a tree to die

Five Common Causes of Tree Death

A tree may succumb to various conditions. In most cases, death results from several factors rather than a single issue. 

The most common culprits of tree death include the following: 

#1 An Adverse Environment Causes Stress The Tree Can’t Handle

A tree’s overall health depends on the environmental stressors it endures. Adverse environmental conditions include temperature extremes, poorly drained soils, pollution, and salty soils. A tree accustomed to growing in swampy areas may die much sooner than expected with a lack of water. 

So, before planting a tree, consider its inherent tolerance to environmental conditions. Many trees have impressive adaptive capabilities, but it helps to know the tree species best suited to survive in a particular region. 

#2 Harmful Insects and Diseases Kill Trees Slowly (But Not Always)

Tree diseases like chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease can cause the sudden death of many trees or entire forests. But common tree diseases, like oak wilt and Armillaria root rot, will progress slowly. They may kill more trees, though.

What causes a tree to die? Insects and diseases often get the blame. However, factors such as drought or damage from construction could be killing the tree already and making it vulnerable to invaders like pine beetles and emerald ash borers.

#3 Catastrophic Events Hit Trees Hard

Catastrophic events such as fires, snowstorms, strong winds, droughts, and floods leave plenty of damage in their wake, not sparing trees. Floods in poorly drained soils may also diminish root oxygen levels, causing overall poor tree health. Similarly, harsh droughts make it difficult, if not impossible, for moisture-loving trees to survive.  

#4 Old Age Is A Natural Tree Death That Can Take Centuries

As a tree reaches maturity, its growth rate declines. Eventually, the plant struggles to support itself or find sufficient food and water. It then slowly degenerates and dies naturally.  

#5 Human Activities Kill Trees Too

Certain human activities and construction methods harm trees severely. For example, despite numerous efforts to conserve the environment and encourage tree planting, disruptive human activities like deforestation continue to cause tree deaths globally.

Contact Your Trusted Tree Experts  

When you need experienced tree professionals to handle any size tree project, trust East Coast Tree Service for the following services:  

  • Tree removal  
  • Tree pruning and trimming  
  • Tree chipping  
  • Stump grinding and more

What causes a tree to die suddenly? Find out more from East Coast Tree Service at (781) 518-8014 and learn why you should hire a certified arborist for all your tree care needs.

JK Painting Services Corp. 12 Tudor St Waltham, MA 02453  Call Today (781) 775-6651
East Coast Tree Service

Based in Reading, MA 01867

Call (781) 518-8014

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Removal, Trimming & Pruning
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