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What are the signs of a sick or diseased tree?

To maintain a beautiful garden keeping an eye on the health of your trees is important, as well as helping to preserve wildlife and the local ecosystem. In public spaces or business premises, the condition of trees is also an important safety factor.

Unfortunately, trees are susceptible to various diseases that can compromise their wellbeing and even lead to their demise.

Detecting signs of a sick or diseased tree is crucial for early intervention and proper care – hopefully saving it and avoiding removal all together.

Here are common signs that indicate a tree may be unhealthy:


Check the Leaves

Leaf discoloration such as yellowing, browning, or an unusual colour can indicate nutrient deficiencies, fungal infections, or other health issues. Other abnormalities like curling, wilting, or distorted leaves may be a sign of pests, diseases, or environmental stress. If the leaves have dropped prematurely out of season, this may be a response to stress, disease, or insect infestation.


Trunk & Bark Issues

Cracks, cankers, or peeling bark may indicate disease or physical damage. A change in colour or texture should also be investigated. Bulges, lumps, or other irregular growths on the trunk or branches can be a sign of internal issues. If there are mushrooms or fungal conks growing on the trunk or around the base of the tree, this can be a sign of internal decay. Unusual amounts of sap flow or oozing from the trunk may also suggest damage or disease.


Look at the Roots

Exposed or decaying roots, soil heaving, or a leaning trunk can indicate problems with the tree's root system.


Monitoring the Growth

Dead branches, or branches with no leaves during the growing season, can suggest disease, pests, or lack of water. If the tree has visible reduced growth, wilting, or overall poor vigour this can be indicator for a variety of health problems so needs to be investigated further. Changes in the overall shape or structure of the tree's canopy may indicate stress or disease.


Insect Invasions

 Presence of pests like borers, aphids, or caterpillars can harm a tree. Look for visible pests, as well as damage such as holes or chewed leaves.


Talking to the experts

If you notice any of these signs, it's advisable to consult with a certified tree care professional.

At OTS, we have over 40 years’ experience in the management of trees and gardens, and will always provide a free consultation with expert advice on what your options are.

We can help diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatments or actions to improve your tree's health. Regular inspection and prompt attention to any issues can help prevent the spread of diseases and maintain the overall well-being of your trees.

If you have any questions or are worried about a tree on your property, talk to us today : 0800 145 52 62.



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