The Root of the Problem: Paying Attention to Tree Health

Tree Health


Signs your trees may be unhealthy

The condition of the leaves and bark, as well as any unusual growth or lack thereof, will indicate if a tree needs attention.

  1. Discoloration of leaves

Yellow or discolored leaves on a tree that typically would be green likely has issues. Also, pronounced “veining” of the leaves is a sign of an unhealthy tree. This occurs when the veins – essentially the pulmonary system – are more visible and discolored.  Another sign is if leaf structure becomes less rigid, limp or not as firm and resilient as normal. Fungal diseases contribute to leaf discoloration and distress, and can be treated if caught in time.

  1. Wilting, droopy leaves

On small plants, wilting and droopy leaves are usually an indication that watering is needed. However, for a tree, that’s a sign that something is wrong, especially if some areas of the tree appear worse or better than others.

Tree Health

  1. Insect damage to leaves and bark

Bores are an arch enemy of trees. They drill into bark and limbs and can kill a tree. If caught in time, a pesticide can be applied and the tree saved. Inspect the trunk regular for signs of holes where bores have been present.

  1. Unusual activity or appearances in the spring

If there are oddities with one section of the tree budding or blooming later, that could be a sign the tree is in distress. Usually, this means that something is affecting the root structure that supports the part of the tree that doesn’t appear normal. It could also be a sign of a bigger systemic problem. Trees are giant structures, and a lot of times they will start to die in sections. When you notice that first issue, it’s time to get somebody involved.

Remember, a licensed and qualified arborist can be a tree’s and apartment community’s best friend. There are solutions and remedies available to help maintain tree health, including injectable treatments to fight disease or just provide supplemental nutrients. Treatments can include fertilization, root stimulation and fungicide and insecticide applications. Systemic insecticides can either be sprayed, injected or root-drenched so that the tree actually becomes toxic so that insects are killed when ingesting leaves and bark.

Like anything else, preventative maintenance goes a long way. The health of your trees and they value they provide to your property shouldn’t be ignored. Are you paying attention to your trees?

(Image Source: Shutterstock)


President, Earthworks

author photo two

Chris Lee is President of Dallas, Texas-based Earthworks, which specializes in multifamily housing landscaping. He is a contributing author to Landscape Management magazine, licensed irrigation specialist and a Toro Intellisense certified technician. Chris studied business at the University of Arkansas from 1990-94 and horticulture and landscape design at Tarrant County College from 1999-01. He has been employed at Earthworks since 1998.

One response to “The Root of the Problem: Paying Attention to Tree Health”

  1. DoloresB says:

    Tree care is a big overlooked part of landscaping. I think it’s important for people to understand why tree health is a big deal. It’s just like you said, regular inspections are important to help maintaining healthy trees.

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