Trees have many ways of telling us that something is wrong, but most of their warning signs are subtle. Here are eight signs that your trees need professional attention and what these signs might mean for your trees’ health.
1. Your Trees Aren’t Growing or Are Growing Asymmetrically
When you first plant a tree from a sapling, you might be surprised to notice it’s not growing all that quickly. With transplanted trees, this is a common occurrence, and it’s usually not a problem. Young trees take about three slow years to really hit their stride, and a common saying in tree service is, “The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, and the third year it leaps.” While this generally applies to perennials, it’s also true for most deciduous trees (meaning they grow and shed their leaves each year). You should notice some activity from new trees. With older trees, growth should be fairly uniform, meaning the tree grows fully and evenly on both sides. Common issues that can cause asymmetry in a growing tree include improper sunlight and internal diseases. If you notice that your tree isn’t growing quite right, it always pays to contact a professional for a consultation.
2. You Notice Discoloration on the Leaves or Bark
Trees can be good at hiding their issues, but some signs of disease and decay are pretty easy to notice. Discoloration on the leaves or bark of your tree can indicate a number of issues, like inadequate water or disease. When disease or malnutrition goes unchecked, tree removal may be your only course of action. That’s why it’s important to act quickly if you notice the leaves are discoloring out of season or the bark develops patches. Fungal diseases are usually the cause of this discoloration, but only a skilled arborist will be able to know for certain.
3. Bark Is Missing or Peeling
After discoloration in the bark, the next step in a diseased tree is for the bark to fall off or begin to peel from the tree. Missing or peeling bark isn’t only a sign of disease, though. Pests like the emerald ash borer (EAB) can quickly cause a tree to shed its bark. Other causes of rapid bark loss include heat shock and animal activity. In some trees, bark loss is a natural part of a tree’s life cycle, but it’s hard to distinguish between normal and disease if you can’t see evidence of insect activity. In the case of emerald ash borer activity, that’s a sure sign that a tree needs to be cut down. The only effective way to save other trees is immediate action in the case of these highly invasive insects.
4. You See Fungal Growth on the Trunk or Branches
Fungal growth is not always obvious; in fact, it often manifests as subtle discoloration or other minute changes in a tree. But in some cases, the fungus can be visible on the trunk, leaves, or branches. Visible rot or fungal growth that looks like mushrooms or black tumor-like masses are all possible. If you see these, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at The Parke Company. If you’re concerned about how much it costs to remove a tree, don’t panic. We offer a free consultation and estimate to ensure you know exactly what to expect from the process.
5. Your Tree Is Leaning Heavily
A tree should grow fairly straight, but in nature, that doesn’t always happen. While it might not necessarily be a sign of disease in your tree, a slanted tree could pose a risk to the safety of your property or that of your neighbors. How can you tell if a tree needs to be cut down when it’s leaning? Leaning trees are far more dangerous than trees with a more uniform structure. They are more susceptible to wind damage and are at a higher risk of uprooting. A tree of any size can cause significant damage to property and people, so it’s never a good idea to leave a leaning tree to chance.
6. The Branches Have Deadwood
Falling branches and limbs are a sure sign that a tree isn’t doing great. While some small branches are expected to shed as a tree grows, it shouldn’t be a daily thing. If you’re noticing more downed branches in your yard all of a sudden, it’s time to reach out to an arborist for advice. At The Parke Company, we have decades of combined tree care experience and the skills to properly treat or remove a tree.
7. Leaves Are Falling Quickly or Unexpectedly
A sudden, out-of-season shedding of leaves is one of the leading signs that a tree needs to be removed from your property. While deciduous trees are meant to lose their leaves every fall, when it happens in the spring or summer, you should be concerned. Don’t overlook this unsightly change, as it’s a tree’s clearest signal that something is very wrong.
8. There Is Visible Damage to the Tree From Weather Events
Storm damage is one of the biggest causes of disease in trees. Each damaged limb is an open wound that can allow pests and diseases to find a direct route into the tree’s internal workings. Even the healthiest tree is susceptible to damage if it’s exceptionally windy or if there’s ice or heavy snow. While some fallen branches after a bad thunderstorm are to be expected, it’s important to monitor the health of your tree after such an event. Moisture and damage can combine to host a variety of fungal infections. Excessive damage after a storm might also mean the tree is weak. If your tree is more damaged than the others around it after a storm, it might be a sign that there’s something wrong with it. Consulting with a licensed arborist after a storm is the best way to ensure you’re taking care of your trees.
Time for a Tree Check-Up? Call The Parke Company
When your trees are showing signs of damage, an arborist consultation is a must. Protect the safety of your property and the trees on it; reach out to the pros at The Parke Company at the first sign of trouble in your trees.