8 signs of an have an unhealthy tree

unhealthy tree

Not only can dead trees fall or drop branches on kids, cars or houses. Dead trees can also attract insects and other unwanted pests that can spread to the rest of your garden.

If a tree falls on your car and no one was there to hear it did it make a sound? Dead and dying trees can pose a risk to yours and neighbours property. Dead trees falling on power lines can take out the power in your neighborhood for days and can cause catastrophic house fires. And, what of the risk to life? A day care centre in Auckland recently experienced the horror of three toddlers being struck by a falling tree.

That said, unless you are familiar with trees, it can be difficult to recognise the symptoms of an unhealthy tree before it’s too late.

Here are 8 clear signs of an unhealthy tree:

  1. Cracks in the mud

    Though not a direct symptom on the tree itself, if there are cracks in the mud around the base of your tree or some of the earth has lifted, it is possible that your tree has started to uproot. Check carefully to see if there are more cracks on one side as this could mean your tree is beginning to lean.

  2. Deep cavities

    Keep an eye out for any hollow areas in your tree. Caused by animals or humans, holes bored deeply into the base of a tree or a heavy trunk can destroy its structural integrity and make it easily able to topple over in New Zealand’s infamous winds.

  3. Changes in the leaves

    The leaves of your tree are the clearest barometer for its health. If new leaves appear paler than they should, yellow out of season, dry up, curl or your tree is simply barren, it’s time to call the tree doctor for a diagnosis.

  4. Fungal infections

    The same goes if your start to see mushrooms growing out of the base of your tree. The wood around the growth may fall away or crumble indicating it may have been rotting for some time.

  5. Dead wood

    If the bark is falling off of your tree in a specific area, this could indicate that some areas of your tree have already died. Don’t ignore this symptom. A dead tree is an unstable tree and requires urgent attention.

  6. Trunk damage

    If your tree is sick, insects may have already begun to attack. If there are fine sawdust shavings visible on the trunk or marble-sized balls of a pale coloured sap, you may have an infestation. You will need an arborist to decide if your tree can be saved or will need to be removed.

  7. Damaged roots

    A tree is fed and made structurally sound by its roots. It is possible for a tree to show no signs of illness above the ground but to have completely rotted beneath. If there are structural problems with your tree it is dangerous. End of story. A gentle wind or the weight of rainwater could topple it without warning.

  8. Cracks in major limbs

    The most common tree danger is falling branches. You can spot dead branches easily: they have no leaves. A dead pine branch will have brown needles if it died recently. If branches have been dead for some time, the bark will fall off.

But, even healthy branches can crack and break after a strong storm. It may not be obvious that a branch has died until suddenly the leaves begin to turn brown. If you suspect there may be unseen damage to your tree, an aerial inspection may be helpful.

Unhealthy trees are more than accidents waiting to happen

Not only can dead trees fall or drop branches on kids, cars or houses. Dead trees can also attract insects and other unwanted pests that can spread to the rest of your garden.

So if you spot any of these signs, get in touch! We can appraise the condition of your tree, offer a quick diagnosis and discuss removal options if necessary. If you spot the symptoms early enough, we may even be able to save your tree!