How Can You Tell if Your Tree is Healthy?
Regular inspections are an important part of plant health care. You should be familiar enough with your tree that if something is out of the ordinary, you will be able to notice a difference.
What to look for in an inspection:
Four signs of a tree’s health and vigor are:
- New leaves or buds
- Good leaf size
- Regular twig growth
- An absence of crown dieback (the gradual death of the upper part of the tree).
What do the signs tell you?
A reduction in the extension of shoots (new growing parts), such as buds or new leaves, is a fairly reliable cue that the tree’s health has recently changed. To evaluate this, compare the growth of the shoots over the past three years. Determine if there is a reduction in the tree’s typical growth pattern.
Further signs of poor tree health are trunk decay and/or crown dieback. These symptoms often indicate problems that began several years before. Loose bark or deformed growths, such as trunk conks (mushrooms), are common signs of stem decay.
Any abnormalities found during these inspections, including insect activity and spotted, deformed, discolored, or dead leaves and twigs, should be noted and watched closely. If you are uncertain as to what should be done, report your findings to your local arborist or other tree care professional for advice on possible treatment.
For more information on how to handle problems your tree might encounter, go here.