How to Recognize an Unhealthy Tree

Trees tend to be big & strong, so many people overlook them assuming all is well. But trees are susceptible to damage and disease, so if we learn to recognize symptoms of such problems we may be able to prevent the situation from escalating and reduce the risk that the trees will cause to other trees or our buildings. The following are a few ways we can determine if a tree is healthy or unhealthy.

Check around the base of the tree. The base of the tree may offer some telltale signs that the tree is unhealthy. Soil that is cracked or raised at the base of the tree may be indicative of a tree that has started to uproot. If you recognize any cracking or if the soil is raised, look at the tree to see if it is learning. This may indicate that the tree is beginning to uproot.

Examine for fungus. The growth of fungus on the tree trunk or close to it may be a sign that the tree is rotting or decaying. Fungal growth, such as a sudden population of mushrooms around the base of the tree is another sign of decay. If the wood behind fungal growth crumbles easily, then the fungal problem has been festering for some time.

Look for cavities on the trunk. Cracks & cavities on a tree may not be an emergency, but especially deep cracks & cavities may indicate a structural problem. Multiple cracks & cavities also serve as red flags to get something done.

Look for dead wood. Dead wood poses a threat to the tree and anyone who happens to spend time in the vicinity. Dead wood snaps easily, and falling dead wood can harm anyone unlucky enough to be near the tree when the dead wood snaps. Dead wood branches will not bend in the wind, and therefore such branches frequently fall off the trees when strong gust of wind come along.

Weak connections. Unhealthy trees often have weak connections between their branches & their trunks.

******** Once you have examined all trees on your lot, record any trees causing concern. Contact a Professional Tree Service to examine the trees in question. A licenced, well established tree arborist is also the safe and sensible route to trim or cut down the endangered trees.


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