A First Look at Tree Decay: An Introduction to How Injury and Decay Affect Trees
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Northeastern Research Station USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry
Photosynthesis and decay are the two most essential processes in nature.
Photosynthesis by green plants captures and stores energy from the sun. This energy is used to form wood and other tree parts. Photosynthesis also removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen to the atmosphere.
Decay releases stored energy and essential elements by the breakdown of wood. Fungi decay the wood in living and dead trees as part of a vital web of microorganisms, insects, and wildlife. Decay organisms enter trees through wounds, large and small. Trees have survival strategies that can resist the spread of decay.
Keywordstree wounds tree decay decay resistance decay organisms microorganisms photosynthesis tree ring discoloration tree trunk discoloration wounded tree trunk tree decay organisms wetwood tree cavities rotted wood woundwood frost crack spiderheart wood decay fungi decay
Smith, Kevin T; Shortle, Walter C. 1998. A First Look at Tree Decay: An Introduction to How Injury and Decay Affect Trees. Northeastern Research Station USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry