signs of an unhealthy tree

Why bother knowing the warning signs of an unhealthy tree? Although they are durable enough to outlive generations of people, trees can still be sensitive. Storms and extreme temperatures cause health issues in any type of plant, and human beings can cause added stress when we compact or dig into the soil around tree roots.

Being able to identify a sick tree is essential as they can cause property damage or even spread sickness to other nearby specimens. Read on for a look at three ways you can spot a tree that isn’t healthy:

Sign #1: Flaws in Tree Structure

Sometimes the eye test is all you need. Inspecting a tree’s branches and trunk can uncover issues, especially if you focus on the structure. Patches of missing bark are a warning sign, as well as deep cracks in larger branches.

These physical flaws can be due to ineffective pruning, bad climate, or plant-based illnesses. Other observable issues to watch out for include:

  • Cavities, or holes, in trunks and branches, could indicate a dying tree.
  • Branches that are missing leaves when it isn’t winter could mean disease.
  • Unusual color changes in leaves might come from an insect infestation.

Sign #2: Mushrooms On or Around Trees

Decaying trees can be difficult to identify because rotting usually begins on the inside. Fortunately, there’s still a way to figure out if there’s something wrong. Mushrooms might be a popular pizza topping, but when it comes to trees, they’re a serious warning sign. If you notice fungi growing on your plant-life, it could already be close to death.

The fungus can be active for a very long time before it begins to develop fruiting bodies, which are the visible mushrooms. This means if you spot mushrooms on your tree, it could have been decaying for years without you noticing. Closely inspect the branches and trunk for soft or crumbling sections of wood to be certain.

Sign #3: Blotches, Bands, and Bleached Wood

If you know what to look for, some tree illnesses are more common than others, with characteristics that make them fairly easy to pinpoint. These infections include anthracnose, dothistroma needle blight, and armillaria root rot.

Anthracnose is identifiable by blotches of dead areas on leaves, which could be black, purple, or brown. Dothistroma symptoms include bands of yellow and darker-green on the tree’s needles. As for armillaria, the tree root disease could be a cause if you notice areas of wood that are lighter and appear to have a bleached tone.

Protecting Your Trees

If you break a twig off a tree and see green tissue inside, your tree is still alive. On the other hand, if you find the inside looking dark and dry, the branch was dead. Keep on testing, and if you find the problem elsewhere you could be dealing with a dead tree. If the tree is still alive, be sure to prune the branches you tested, and clean away any dead wood you find.

Regular pruning and attentive care will help, but a good tree service is an invaluable resource. For more information about the warning signs of an unhealthy tree or to obtain professional tree services, connect with our experts at Engram’s Tree Service today.