4 Common Reasons For Decay In Wood

Decay in wood is something you need to deal with as soon as possible. While it isn’t possible to save the damaged timber, swift action could save the tree. At the very least, it will prevent the spread of fungi and disease and remove a potential food source for pests. 

In the interim, you can learn more about wood preservation from the leading tree service experts in Concord, OH

What Is Decay in Wood?

Decay is the degeneration of damaged wood resulting from fungi or a pathogen infestation. Holes in the bark allow the pathogen or a type of fungi to enter the: 

  • Roots
  • Sapwood
  • Heartwood

The Causes of Tree Decay

The causes of decay are simple, and it starts with damage to the bark. The compartmentalized system within the tree will work to seal off this section. When it is unable to do so, pathogens gain access and begin to spread. 

Fungi and bacteria are two examples of harmful organisms that can invade your tree. They kill the tissue they come into contact with when decay begins. As the infection spreads, they compromise the rest of the tree, leaving rotting tissue in their wake. 

Over time, moisture content evaporates, and the wood shrinks, leaving a noticeable difference in texture. 

What Damages the Bark?

Many things can make an impact on the tree’s protective system. 

  • Boring insects
  • Incorrect pruning techniques
  • Damage from debris during a storm
  • Birds, rodents, or other pests

Boring Insects

Wood borers and termites are merely two types of insects that drill holes into the wood. By burrowing in looking for a moisture and food source, insects may not only damage the tree but also introduce bacteria. 

Incorrect Pruning Techniques

Correctly trimming trees improves their longevity and keeps them looking neat and orderly. However, if you cut the branch in the wrong place, you weaken the tree’s ability to repair itself, leaving it open for infection. 

Debris Damage

Debris damage could result from a gust of wind blowing a pool skimmer into a tree. It might also result from a stone flying up while you’re mowing the lawn or your kids playing too close with toys that may pierce the trunk. 

Signs of Decay in Wood

Some indicators of rot are apparent, but there are a few signs that you may not notice. During your regular inspections, look for: 

  • Cracking bark 
  • Dead branches or areas on the tree
  • Discoloration, thinning, or spotting of leaves
  • Holes in the bark
  • Wounds from trimming 
  • Broken limbs that expose the trunk’s interior
  • Tilting of the tree due to imbalance
  • Damage to the roots
  • Sections of the trunk or bark that seem softer than normal
  • Hollowing of the area under the bark
  • Oozing areas
  • Visible fungi
  • Bark peeling or crumbling 

Some of these symptoms overlap with other causes of distress in trees. For example, they might indicate that the tree needs more nutrients or that insects are eating away at it. The Premier Tree Specialists team can give you the correct answer upon inspection. 

Call Our Certified Arborists for Assistance Today  

Our specialist team will evaluate your trees with an eye on wood preservation. They check for outward signs of damage, moisture content, and evidence of any harmful type of fungi or disease. As locals, they know more about the common tree diseases in Ohio than anyone. 

The wood shrinks and weakens as it decays, so they strategically remove afflicted branches to prevent further damage.  

Contact Premier Tree Specialists in Pepper Pike, OH, at 216-245-8908 and put a stop to decay in wood quickly, safely, and efficiently. 



Premier Tree Specialists is a rapidly growing company with countless years of experience. We specialize in commercial and residential services providing a variety of tree care needs.

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Premier Tree Specialists

Pepper Pike, OH

Phone : 216-245-8908

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