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How To Detect The Early Signs Of Unhealthy Trees

How To Detect The Early Signs Of Unhealthy Trees

One of nature’s most stunning features are trees. They offer wildlife with food, shade, and a natural habitat for birds and other creatures.

Trees, however, can become unwell or experience issues that render them unhealthy or dangerous, just like any other living thing.

Being able to spot health issues as soon as they arise is one of the most crucial aspects of routine tree maintenance. The sooner a possible problem can be found, diagnosed, and fixed, the less probable it is that any long-term harm will be done.

In this post, we’ll discuss the signs to watch out for if you think your trees have a sickness or illness so you can cure them right away before they endanger your property.

Check for dead branches

By carefully examining the branch and its surroundings, you can check the tree’s branches for illness symptoms. Consider chopping off a branch if you see any discoloration, cracks, or other damage.

  • Prior to cutting, always check that your pruning saw is sharp. By doing so, you can avoid damaging other portions of the tree with sharp edges and get a clean cut.
  • Remove dead wood as close to the trunk’s origin as you can to lessen the chance of an infection spreading deeper into your tree’s body (and makes future pruning easier).

Check for holes in the trunk

Holes, cracks, and missing bark are the most common signs of tree disease in the trunk. These can indicate a variety of diseases, including cankers and gummosis.

Cankers are small areas of decay caused by fungi, bacteria, and insects. Do not be alarmed if you notice a canker on the trunk or branches of your tree. Cankers are common in trees, but they are not fatal; fungicides can be used to help the tree recover.

The cambium layer of your tree’s trunk or limbs, which is the developing layer between bark and wood, can become infected by insects like aphids or fungal spores, which interfere with the ability of the layer to carry nutrients throughout the tree.

Pruning out the infected sections, cleaning them with a 10% bleach solution**, and resealing them with duct tape are effective treatments for both types of infections. Insects and fungi won’t be able to enter these injured regions again until they have healed.

Check the leaves

Depending on the season, leaves can be a reliable sign of a tree’s health. The greatest seasons to examine leaves are in the summer and early fall when they are at their most uniform and green.

Your tree may be ill or sick if any of these symptoms appear on its leaves:

  • Yellowing and falling off
  • Curling up
  • Wilting
  • Spots or other discoloration
  • Holes


Your tree may be having trouble finding the proper balance and needs some assistance if it is leaning to one side. The first thing you should do is check the trunk of your tree for any wounds or other damage that might be the reason it is tilting.

If the trunk is healthy physically, consider turning the soil around it to put all of its roots on an equal footing. Another technique to assist the tree in regaining its balance is to prune any extra branches.

Root Girdling

The issue of root girdling is brought on by a tree’s roots encircling and entangling the trunk. If neglected, these roots may obstruct the tree’s access to nutrients and water, resulting in its demise.

Maintaining sharp lawnmower blades and making sure the area surrounding your trees is not overgrown are the best ways to avoid this. Maintain adequate water levels in your yard, particularly during dry spells or after recent work (like digging up pavement).

Final Thoughts

Regular inspections are the greatest method to find issues with trees before they get out of hand.

A tree inspection will enable you and an arborist (a specialist who specialises in caring for trees) to spot any difficulties early on, when treatment is easier, just like having your automobile checked out helps prevent expensive repairs down the road.

These are only a few indications that your tree may be unwell or diseased. There’s no need to panic; if you believe your tree needs assistance, speak with a qualified arborist who can assess the situation and offer possible solutions.



The Tree Surgeon Org are independently owned specialist arborist contractors operating across the North West Of England. Covering all aspects of arboriculture and ecology, our tree surgeons aim to achieve and maintain the highest standards of tree services.

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