Signs of Tree Damage

tree disease

tree abnormalities such as this one should be inspected and treated

Maintaining a healthy lawn consists of more than just your grass and shrubs.  Ensuring the health of your trees not only helps create a beautiful landscape, but it is also an important safety factor for your home.  Unfortunately, most people focus most of their attention on what’s on the ground, and neglect the massive things above them.  If you have a damaged tree, it’s very important to treat the problem if possible, and if not, have the tree removed.  Tree problems can be classified as diseases or disorders.  Diseases are caused by infectious organisms.  A disorder is a noninfectious problem caused by nonliving sources. A general rule is that if you notice anything unusual on the bark, trunk, roots or leaves, there may be a problem, but there are some specific signs to look for.

Leaves will often give you clues as to the type of damage your tree has.  If you notice the leaves of a tree are much duller in color one season, this may be a sign of verticullum wilt disease.  Another sign of tree issues is a mildew-like film on leaves.  This can indicate a fungus problem.  You may also notice spots or holes on the leaves, which can be caused by pests or diseases. 

Many tree disorders are weather related.  Extreme heat, cold, drought or flooding can damage trees.  If roots are under water for too long they can be damaged from a lack of oxygen.  Too much water can also facilitate the growth of other funguses and pathogens.  Weather related tree issues may manifest themselves in a crack or bulge in the trunk. 

If you have large limbs that are dead or have fallen down, you may also need to look into the health of the tree.  Sometimes, the solution can be as simple as trimming the tree of oversized branches.  Anytime you notice something unusual about a tree, you should contact a professional to determine the correct course of action.  Some diseases can spread to other nearby plants.  A severely damaged tree may also be prone to falling or have limbs break much more easily, which can cause property damage and poses a safety issue.