Recognizing an Unhealthy Tree: Six Signs to Look For

Nearly every property owner will one day have to decide whether or not to tear down a diseased tree. You may decide to try nursing your unhealthy tree back to health, though in some cases a disease or infestation overtakes the tree and makes it impossible to mend. Learn how to recognize the signs of a sick tree from Locust Grove’s professional tree service.

What Causes Trees to Become Unhealthy?

While trees can handle themselves in many situations, some tree health problems go beyond a tree’s ability to heal itself. If a tree takes damage during extreme weather, develops an infection or disease, or suffers from some other accident or natural disaster, you may need to step in to heal it or tear it down.

Six Signs of an Unhealthy Tree

If you notice that you have a tree blooming more slowly than usual, presenting with discolored leaves or bark, or leaning to one side, you might have a sick tree. Some warning signs of an unhealthy tree include:

1. Observable Sap

Trees leaking sap often indicate that the tree has an infection or pest infestation. When a tree releases sap, the sticky material consists of the one natural protection for these plants.

2. Holes in the Tree

Holes or cracks in a tree’s trunk or branches develop due to some structural problem within the tree itself or because insects or pests 

3. Pest Infestations

An insect infestation usually includes wood-boring insects, while other pests like woodpeckers and squirrels can cause damage to a tree as well. An overabundance of these critters could prove that a tree has a disease inside weakening it.

4. Broken Branches

Dying branches might hang lower than the living ones, while dead ones might fall off completely. Both of these situations require quick removal to ensure that the branches don’t fall on anyone.

5. Fungi Development

Fungal growth due to excess moisture in and on the tree can often resemble black soot, making it easy to diagnose on an unhealthy tree.

6. Leaf Growth Problems

Leaves that don’t come in with the proper coloration, shape, or size, or leaves that wilt, often indicate a problem with the tree.

How to Inspect a Tree for Illness or Disease

You can check on your tree’s health by using the steps below. Afterward, if you find signs of an unhealthy tree, you can contact a professional tree service for help in treating the tree or tearing it down.

1. Start at the Roots

Most trees have some visible roots above the ground, so start your inspection here first. Check the roots and base of the tree for signs of rot or fungi.

2. Check the Trunk and Bark

The state of the bark around the tree’s trunk can also help you determine the health of your tree. Your bark shouldn’t have any slits in its body, nor should the bark have cracks or pull away from the trunk easily. Inspect your tree for small holes, cavities, swelling, or other unusual damages. 

3. Inspect the Canopy

Once you’ve checked everything close to the ground, look up. Check out the tree’s canopy and look for problematic branches or limbs, dying or badly formed leaves, and other signs that your tree needs help.

Treat Your Unhealthy Tree With Locust Grove’s Tree Experts

When you have an unhealthy tree in your yard, this issue may kill that one tree or spread to other trees around it. Maintain a safe environment with healthy, effective treatment by Georgia Pro Services. Whether you need to deal with an unhealthy tree or want to learn when a tree stops growing, call Georgia Pro Services in Locust Grove at (404) 751-8743.

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