Why Do Trees Die in Santa Rosa, CA?

Trees look majestic and near indestructible once they reach maturity. So it can be unnerving to find your favorite tree dying. However, the reality is that trees are still living organisms, irrespective of how complex they may be. They are not immune to dying early.

So, why do trees die? In this post, Santa Rosa’s trusted tree service will look at factors leading to a tree’s demise.

why do trees die

The Top Causes of Tree Death in Santa Rosa, CA

Some of the top reasons trees perish in Santa Rosa, CA, include the following:


Certain tree diseases may affect specific species—chestnut blight or Dutch elm disease. However, others, like anthracnose or root rot, can kill various types of trees.

Diseases that stop the tree from absorbing and distributing nutrients can prove dangerous. This explains why trees die off once they get infected and don’t receive treatment.

Poor Watering Habits

Trees like cypress, birch, and willows need lots of water to thrive. However, even trees that don’t need as much water may die off if they stay exposed to prolonged drought. Similarly, most trees don’t like excessive watering. It throws their nutrition system off balance, causing the death of leaves first and the roots later.

Pest Infestations

Many pests are natural threats to trees. Some of them, like locusts and gypsy moths, can strip your tree of its leaves, stopping its ability to synthesize its food and causing its death shortly after.

Why do trees die even when pests don’t feed on their leaves? Certain pests like pine beetles and emerald ash borers can attack the tree’s softwood and sapwood from the inside, causing the tree to die over time.

Lack of Resources

Trees need a tremendous amount of resources to support their growth. When multiple trees must compete for water, sunlight, and other nutrients, the disadvantaged ones will die after a while.

Soil Compaction

This is one of the most common tree death causes on private properties. Poor backfilling or accidental soil compaction will suffocate the tree’s roots, causing it to die after a while.

Temperature Extremes

Trees tend to die when they experience extreme temperatures for the first time. 

Old Age

Since trees are living organisms, they can’t live forever. Your favorite tree that just died probably reached the end of its lifespan. Old age makes trees weaker until they can no longer process nutrients.

However, understanding tree mortality is a tricky proposition because of the varying lifespans across the different species. For example, birch can only live for 50 years, while elm can thrive for up to 300 years. Species like bristlecone can last 5,000 years.

Can You Stop Your Tree From Dying?

You can stop your tree from dying by addressing some of the external factors above. Treat your tree for disease quickly and keep pests away from it to extend its lifespan.

Do you have more questions on why do trees die? Do you want to learn how to stop your tree from falling on your neighbor’s house?

Call Empire Tree Experts in Santa Rosa, CAat (707) 521-2151 to book an appointment.

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