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Identifying Tree Stress & Abiotic Causes of Stress


Trees can withstand a great deal of decay without entirely faltering. Indeed, a tree may be hollowed out by decay and still continue to transport enough water through it's outer rings to survive. If the tree lacks sufficient warmth, minerals, light, air, or water, however, it may become stressed.

When a tree is stressed, it will typically lose some leaves, display an unusual leaf color, or begin to produce a large number of water sprouts.. Most often, tree stress is a result of problems with the environment. For instance, the soil may become compacted, or the winter may be extremely cold. Any sources of stress that are not caused by living organisms are classified as abiotic factors. Other abiotic factors could be too much or too little water or destructive pruning.

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