To the untrained eye, a healthy tree might not look very different from a dying tree. Unless you know exactly what to look for, like borers, wilting, and dieback, you might even not recognize if your tree is half-dead!
Just like humans, trees need a checkup every once in a while to ensure they don’t have any tree problems. To keep your tree health in tip-top shape, go through Gutierrez & Sons’ checklist here.
The Top Most Common Tree Problems
The best way to do a tree health audit is to go through all the major tree issues and check them one by one. The most common tree problems, which we’ll deal with in order below, are as follows:
- Pests/insect infestations
- Soil health
- Stem dieback
- Sun damage
Check For Pests
Few things can be more deadly or destructive than insect infestations, especially tree borers. Insects can lay eggs on bark or in tree wounds, and when the larvae hatch, they’ll burrow into the bark and create tunnels. These tunnels could kill your tree or make them susceptible to diseases or fungi. Other pests can feast on your leaves or spoil your fruit.
Check for eggs, tunnels, or larvae in the spring and summer. If you don’t know what to look for, do a lot of research and/or contact a professional for an inspection. If an infection spreads too far, it can quickly kill the tree.
Check for Diseases
Just as harmful to your tree health as insects are diseases. Often, the two go hand in hand!
If you notice any unusual patterns or discoloration on your leaves, bark, or surrounding plants, you might be dealing with a disease. Additionally, if you see rotting fruit or falling branches, your tree might be affected. It’s important to catch these diseases quickly before they kill your tree or spread to other trees in the area.
Read our guide on common tree diseases to know which pesky and/or deadly tree illnesses to watch out for.
Analyze Soil Health
Soil is one of a tree’s major food groups. A tree needs balanced and nutritious soil customized to the species’ unique needs. Your soil could be too acidic, not acidic enough, or simply lack the proper nutrients for optimal tree health. The right kind of soil is different for every tree, especially non-native trees.
Soil health is a complex field of study, so if you’ve eliminated all other avenues and your tree is still suffering, you should definitely get your soil tested in a lab.
Check For Proper Drainage
If your property doesn’t have the proper drainage, water won’t run through the soil, and your roots could drown. In this case, decay will kill your tree from the roots up, and you might not be able to tell if the tree is dying or dead until it’s too late.
Improper drainage is often a result of improper planting. It can be difficult to replant a tree, but it is sometimes possible.
Check For Stem Dieback, Scorching, and Wilting
If you’re not sure what your tree branches and leaves should look like, you should check for these factors. If your tree is unhealthy, and especially if your region is experiencing a drought, your tree can suffer from wilting leaves, scorched leaves, and stem dieback.
Stem dieback is when twigs, roots, or branches die and start to fade in color from the outside in. It looks a little like “dead ends,” and means your tree will no longer look full and bushy. This could be a sign of anthracnose, fungi, bacterial infections, drought, overwatering, or soil deficiency.
If that seems like just about every tree problem under the sun, it is! Basically, if you notice wilting or stem dieback, something is wrong with your tree, and you should give it a thorough tree health checkup.
Contact Gutierrez & Sons for a Professional Tree Health Audit
Identifying issues with your tree can be very complex, especially if your tree has an infestation, disease, or bad soil. If you care about the long-term health of your tree, you should contact a tree expert who knows what to watch out for.
Gutierrez & Sons has been proudly serving the greater Los Angeles area with excellent tree services and landscaping for decades. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, get in touch with us anytime.