Just about any property owner can tell if a tree on his or her land is dead or dying. At that point, though, there’s little to be done about it beyond removing the tree. Instead of waiting until the situation becomes truly dire, keep an eye out for the following 10 signs that a tree is suffering and call a tree service as soon as they appear.
Excessive Dead Branches
It’s normal for a few branches to die in the winter, even on healthy trees. If most of the branches are dead, it may be a sign that the tree is seriously suffering. Look into Tree Trimming Services that can remove the dead and damaged branches, then start scheduling routine professional pruning.
Healthy trees grow relatively straight with strong trunks that can support plenty of weight. Barring extreme weather events, it’s usually trees that have been damaged by pests or diseases that fall prey to the pull of gravity.
Clear Central Leader
Most trees should have only one main vertical stem at the top of their trunks, known as a central leader. Trees with more than one leader may eventually split, which will leave them more prone to insects and diseases.
Healthy trees produce new growth every year. Property owners can check their progress by looking at the distance between this season’s buds and the scars left on branches by last year’s growth. They can then ask an expert about what to expect from different species of trees.
Unless the tree is a maple, eucalyptus, or birch, its bark should not be loose or peeling. All healthy trees’ bark should be free of moss and mushrooms. Nicks and gouges in the trunk can also be a sign of trouble, as they open the door to insect infestations.
Evergreen trees can sometimes develop bare patches that are free of needles when exposed to stress. If there are bare patches on one or more evergreen trees, the best thing to do is call a professional for an accurate diagnosis of the underlying problem and recommendations about how to fix it.
Most healthy trees, regardless of species, produce green leaves. The leaves on deciduous trees will turn yellow, orange, or red late in the season, but leaf discoloration should always be considered cause for concern during other seasons.
Unusual Leaf Growth
If a tree’s leaves are stunted or unusually shaped, that’s a sure sign of poor health. There are many causes of leaf stunting and malformation ranging from nutrient deficiencies to pesticide damage, so get the problem diagnosed by a professional.
Lack of Fruit
Most domesticated fruit trees produce both flowers and fruits every year. If they’re not fruiting, they may be under stress due to nutrient deficiencies, insects, or disease. Without adequate care, a tree that doesn’t produce flowers or fruits may eventually die.
Unusually Placed Shoots
While trees should put out new growth each year, they shouldn’t do it in unusual places. Check the base of the tree for shoots or branches. This unusual growth pattern could be a sign of trouble.
The Bottom Line
Trees require a good deal of care to stay healthy and beautiful. If property owners aren’t sure whether their trees could be suffering from diseases, insect infestations, or environmental stress, they should always call a professional for an evaluation.