You need to take good care of your trees to keep them healthy and beautiful. This includes giving them appropriate and timely treatment when sick. However, the trick is in telling whether something is actually wrong.
This shouldn’t worry you so much. As Milton’s top tree service, we’re going to show you in this article how to tell if a tree is sick and discuss various tree symptoms of illness.
The most common signs of tree illness are wilted leaves. The leaves help a tree harvest sunlight and process it into food energy. Wilting means they aren’t working at their full potential, which is bad for the entire tree.
Your tree’s leaves may wilt due to heat stress, drought stress, or poor soil drainage. This problem may also result from diseases like fireblight, which occurs during warm, rainy spring weather.
If you notice yellow leaves on your tree that aren’t because of fall, your tree could be suffering from nutrient deficiency. Some of the common reasons for yellowing leaves include:
- Low Soil pH: This means the soil is highly acidic, making mineral nutrients like iron insoluble, and the tree can’t absorb them.
- Insufficient Soil Minerals: Your tree can’t find enough or the right minerals for healthy growth.
- No Nitrogen: Your soil could be lacking nitrogen, the most important macronutrient for green growth.
A certified arborist can perform a comprehensive tree health assessment to determine the specific deficiency and recommend the best course of action to restore your tree’s health.
Damaged Trunk and Bark
You can hardly talk about identifying sick trees without saying anything about the trunk or bark. If you notice any signs of damage on your tree’s bark, the tree could be rotting or decaying. You should especially never ignore vertical cracks, as they indicate deteriorating health.
As trees age, the outer layer of their bark usually falls off, and they develop a new layer. This won’t happen if the tree’s health is deteriorating. Also, look out for fungal growth on the trunk and bark; large clusters indicate the tree is rotting from the inside.
Dying, Dead, or Dropping Branches
We can’t speak about how to tell if a tree is sick without mentioning this common symptom. If you notice large branches breaking or dropping, call a professional to carefully examine the tree. This might indicate the development of a serious health issue — healthy trees hardly drop large branches.
Dying or dead branches usually indicate natural tree decline, particularly due to old age. Trees slow down as they age and may no longer manufacture adequate food to support their entire structure, causing some branches to deteriorate and die.
Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance
If you need help diagnosing tree diseases or more information on how to tell if a tree is sick, SoutheastTree is the go-to local arborist. We provide a wide range of tree care and maintenance services in Milton, GA.