Manahawkin Tree Company Explains Tree Defenses

Manahawkin tree company picture of thorns on a tree branch

It may seem like trees have no natural enemies other than humans. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although we may not be able to see them with our naked eye, there are many organisms that can attack, harm, and kill trees and plants. Even tiny animals like insects can devastate entire forests. With so many dangers, how do trees defend themselves? We spoke with experienced professionals at a Manahawkin Tree Company to find out what they know about self defense mechanisms of trees. We were surprised to find out how many things are out to get trees and all the ways they use to defend themselves.

What’s Irritating to Trees

Trees are at risk of attack by many things. From animals to insects to fungus, there are many things that irritate trees. Birds like woodpeckers provide a benefit by removing grubs and other insects from the insides of trees, but can leave open wounds on trunks. These spots can be an opening for diseases, but often, they do not cause too much harm to the tree. Animals like squirrels and other small rodents can cause damage to trees by foraging their fruits, eating the bark and roots, and breaking branches in the process. Young and recently planted trees are most at risk of animal damage. Trees of all ages are susceptible to a variety of diseases and pathogens including powdery mildew, anthracnose, and leaf rusts. Even with excellent care by a Manahawkin tree company, trees need to defend themselves.

Trees Communicate with Others Say Manahawkin Tree Company

One way that trees defend themselves is by warning others. There is evidence now that rather than trees being individuals with a self-contained root system, there is connections among them all by an underground fungi network. Through this network, trees communicate with each other warning others of danger. Some trees emit chemicals if their leaves are being eaten by an animal. In response, the other trees in the area increase the level of toxins in their leaves making the animal eating the leaves sick. Other trees can send out pheromones to attract predators to pick off insects that are feasting on them.

What may be even more amazing than this is the fact that we now know trees can send each other nutrients and chemicals to help them heal. Pine trees can send sap to those with wounds. Older, larger trees send nutrients and resources to younger, growing trees. They can also increase the levels of these resources to send extra when they receive distress signals from other trees.

Physical Adaptations Help Defend Trees

There is one physical defense that everyone is familiar with on trees. This is the bark. The bark of a tree is it’s first line of defense against threats. Aside from bark, other exterior armaments include a waxy covering on leaves. This cuticle helps defend the tree against water loss and also can help protect them from pollutants. Spines and thorns are also an attempt by some trees and plants to defend themselves against predators. These sharp extensions prevent herbivores from feasting. On a smaller scale, some plants have stinging hairs covering their leaves like the Stinging Nettle. So, yes, you can get stung by a plant. On a cursory glance, trees may seem pretty defenseless. However, that could not be further from the truth.

Manahawkin Tree Company Provides Care

Even though trees can do a pretty good job at defending themselves, they can also use some help. One important aspect of tree care is proper limb trimming and pruning. We say proper because when done wrong, these things can actually damage trees rather than help them. Appropriate limb removal can help trees grow straight which helps to keep trunks strong. Removing too many branches at once can cause a huge stress response from the tree and delay healing. Over pruning can even kill a tree. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced Manahawkin tree company to take care of your trees. When provided with great care, the trees in you yard will stay healthy and strong for years to come.