7 Signs a Tree May Be Sick and Need an Arborist’s Attention

Are you beginning to notice signs that your tree is unhealthy? Is your tree changing and you’re not sure why? Trees change all the time! Not drastically, no, but if you live somewhere where the seasons are always changing, it’s normal for your tree’s appearance to change year-round. Therefore, you might not always know if your tree needs help or what signs to look out for. There are several signs to look for that might indicate that your tree is sick. Some are easy to spot, while others are harder to determine. We’ll talk about the most important signs below.

1. Tree Trunk Cracks

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Cracks in the trunk of the tree are one of the signs that might not be easy to spot. Depending on the tree, the texture can make the cracks blend into the wood. Some cracks are superficial and nothing to worry about, but big cracks can cause major problems to the stability of the tree. A lot of the time, cracks in the trunk is just an indicator that something more serious is wrong with the tree, such as diseases or pests.

If you see any cracks that look serious, or even if you want to make sure the superficial-looking cracks won’t turn into something more serious, it’s best to have an arborist come take a look.

2. Pests

Wait! Before you go call an arborist, you need to know that not all insects are bad for your trees. Some are good—helpful even! So, before freaking out, you need to know which creepy-crawlies are harmful, and which are perfectly fine.

Insects such as lacewings and ground beetles are good for your tree. They feed on pests that are harmful and can cause your tree problems. However, pests such as termites, aphids, and leaf beetles can invade your tree and even cause tree diseases. It’s important to know the difference before you panic. If you’re still unsure about an insect you see, go ahead and call an arborist anyway. Better safe than sorry, right?

3. Discolored Leaves

When the leaves on your tree begin to have weird, brown splotches on them, it can be a bad sign. While this can be because of a number of reasons, one of those reasons could be a tree disease. Tree diseases are nothing to mess with and can require a lot of maintenance and take a long time to completely fix. These brown spots can also indicate that the tree isn’t getting the proper nutrients it needs, including water and sunlight. If you notice that your tree’s leaves are changing and there is discoloration, don’t be afraid to contact an arborist for any questions. They’ll know how to inspect the tree and determine what’s wrong with it.

4. Tree Bark

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Changes in the tree bark is an easy way to determine if your tree is unhealthy. Healthy trees have strong bark that doesn’t look loose and damaged. The bark on a sick tree would be very brittle and falling off the tree in chunks. Fungus can also be a problem that indicates that a tree is sick. Fungus can start growing on the tree bark, and this is a major sign of tree disease that should be treated right away.

If you notice any strange changes in the tree bark, it most likely means your tree needs an arborist’s attention.

5. Fungus

There are several fungus diseases that can develop on your tree, depending on the type of trees you have, including anthracnose, oak wilts, and sooty mold. Fungal disease is one of the most harmful diseases. The fungi can spread rapidly and the damage to the tree can be detrimental.

If you notice any fungi growing on your tree, which will begin to appear as a strange, white substance, it’s important to contact an arborist right away so it doesn’t spread to other trees or plants.

6. Soil

The soil around your tree can tell you a lot about it. Take houseplants, for instance. If you notice the soil around your succulent is super dry and cracked, it probably needs to be watered, right? Trees are the same way! If your tree isn’t getting the proper water and sunlight it needs to thrive, it can cause problems. However, it’s important that the tree isn’t waterlogged. A waterlogged tree can make the structure of the tree unstable and be very problematic for the roots of the tree.

Another issue you could run into is compacted soil. This happens when the soil gets pressed farther in the ground. This could happen if people were walking on it consistently. This is bad for the tree because it can keep the tree from growing due to the lack of oxygen in the soil. An arborist will be able to see if your soil is healthy and safe for the tree.

7. Rotting Roots

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Roots are the most important part of a tree. They hold the whole tree together, and they are the main part in helping the tree grow. If your roots are rotting, this can cause irreversible damage to the tree. I know what you’re thinking—How am I supposed to know if my roots are rotting if I can’t see them? Well, there are some signs you’ll be able to see that might indicate your tree’s roots are in danger. The roots provide all the nutrients for a tree to help it grow, so if your tree isn’t growing properly, starting to wilt, or the leaves are smaller than usual, then your tree might be rotting. It’s important to catch this as early as you can and have a professional arborist treat it. They’ll have to take the cautious steps to repair the tree’s roots so it can flourish once again.

Arborists are professionals when it comes to trees. However, they don’t hear trees calling for help. As a tree owner, it’s important to look out for these signs so you can contact an arborist before your trees become dangerous. Simply looking out for cracks, pests, discoloured leaves, weak tree bark, fungus growth, poor soil, and evidence of rotting roots will help your trees tremendously. Catching any type of tree illness before it has the time to get worse is better than a sick tree falling and possibly injuring you or damaging your property. If any of these signs leave you stumped (pun intended) call a professional arborist for help!