Your trees are still lush, full and green. But you’ve begun to notice little things like an unusual number of small broken twigs, leaves turning fall colors and dropping in the middle of summer, or a distorted growth pattern. These might be signs of your trees in distress. The information below may give you some insight.
Can trees really become stressed and what causes it?
Arborists have determined inclement weather, disease and pests only count for a small percentage of tree deaths. The main cause of tree stress and subsequent death is the human factor. Improper tree installation, especially in an urban setting is one of the major reasons trees don’t thrive. Planting trees where they are constantly exposed to road salt, pollution and construction, along with soil compaction and incorrect watering…either too much or too little, are all additional contributors to tree stress. Also, something as innocuous as improper mulching and poor pruning techniques can cause a tree to decline.
How to tell if your trees are in distress.
- Severe cracks, large knots and splits are all signs there may be a problem. Large cracks can harbor decay that could be spreading deep inside the tree trunk. While small splits may repair themselves over time, deeper splits usually indicate the tree will need to be removed.
- Trees that are losing leaves in the middle of summer and/or if the leaves that are falling are the reds, oranges and browns associated with autumn, then there’s a good chance your trees are stressed.
- Burnt and crispy leaves in the middle of summer, leaves with brown spots and/or leaves that are soft, wilted and brown are all indicators that the trees need to be inspected by a tree care professional.
- Mushroom and fungus growth around the base of the tree is almost always a sign of a problem. Mushrooms typically grow in rotting decaying material; material that shouldn’t be around or under a tree.
Can stressed trees be saved?
The answer is: maybe. It all depends on why the tree is stressed and what is causing it. For example if the tell-tale signs of stress are mushrooms growing on or around the tree truck, then the tree will have to removed. But if you are seeing early leaf drop or the leaves are turning colors too soon there may be some fairly easy solutions. It could be the canopy is too crowded and just needs to be thinned out. Or the tree hasn’t been water properly, receiving too much or too little moisture. Often it could be a leaf disease or a pest infestation that can be remedied by applying a fungicide or having the tree professionally pruned.
Concerned about the health of your trees? Eric with Out on a Limb Tree Service is a licensed professional arborist who specializes in total tree care. Give him a call today at 864-320-8787 or fill out our convenient and safe online contact form to schedule an appointment.