Keeping Trees Healthy: Signs of Stress Your Tree Service Wants You to Watch For


Stress is a normal part of daily life. No matter what type of work you do or how relaxed you feel on your days off, some stress will always pop up. But did you know that the trees on your property can get stressed, too. When they do, they become more vulnerable to damage and plant diseases that can infect your entire yard. Luckily, you can combat stress in your trees if you catch it early enough. You just need to know what to look for and your local tree company is here to help. These are a few tell-tale signs of stress that you’ll need to watch for in your trees throughout the year. 

The Canopy Is Dying

One of the easiest signs of stress to watch for in your trees is something called canopy dieback. It can appear on otherwise healthy trees if their roots start to get stressed by soil conditions, changing weather, and other environmental factors. 

Turn your gaze up and look at the canopies of your mature trees. If the trees are healthy, the leaves should cover the branches fairly evenly. But if the tree is stressed, you’ll start to notice bare patches along the outermost parts of the branches. This is the tree’s attempt at preserving nutrients and reducing stress on its vascular system by cutting back the amount of growth it produces. 

The best thing you can do is call your tree service and let them assess the damage. They may need to prune away the underperforming growth to restore the tree’s health.

There Are Cracks in the Trunk

Cracks in the trunk happen when decay starts to build inside the tree itself. It doesn’t mean that the tree is dying, but it is a surefire sign that the tree needs help. The decay could be due to root rot, fungus in the soil, or even insects. And the larger the cracks are, the more stress the tree is under.

Dealing with this type of damage on your own isn’t possible. It’s something only an experienced tree service can help treat. Unfortunately, large cracks in the trees mean there’s a good chance that the tree will need to be removed. Otherwise, you risk introducing new pests and unwanted diseases to the other trees in your yard.

Leaves Fall Prematurely

Almost every type of tree will drop its leaves seasonally. In most cases, this happens around autumn when the temperatures start to get cooler and plants enter their normal dormant periods. However, if your trees are stressed, they can drop their leaves far earlier.

It’s the tree’s natural response to external stress factors that make it want to conserve its energy and resources just like it would during the winter months. 

If you notice that some of the trees on your property are starting to lose their leaves even when there are weeks left in the growing season, don’t ignore it. Contact your tree service and let them inspect the tree for damage. There’s likely a water or pest issue contributing to the premature leaf drop and the best way to develop a treatment plan is to speak with an experienced arborist.

The Leaves Change Color Before Fall

Premature leaf drop isn’t the only fall-like problem that trees can experience. Sometimes, the leaves can start to change color while other trees in the area are still producing new growth. If this happens, it’s almost a guarantee that something is threatening the health of your trees.

Your tree company will be able to identify what’s causing the leaves to change colors too early. Once they identify the cause, they’ll be able to create a thorough treatment plan to keep the damage from spreading and, if possible, help the tree recover.

There Are Two Trunks for One Tree

Stress doesn’t always manifest suddenly. Sometimes it can take years for your trees to show damage. One easy sign to look for is a tree with two trunks. This indicates that the tree was under stress at some point in its life. Even if the tree seems otherwise healthy now, it could still be under stress. 

After all, that second trunk puts strain on the root system and can overtax the tree’s vascular system if anything threatens its health. 

Trees with two trunks may require additional support to thrive and keep their canopies growing strong. Contact your tree service and let them assess the tree’s condition. If everything looks great, all you need to do is keep an eye on it. But if they see damage or are worried about the weight of the second trunk pulling on the roots, you’ll need to address the problem quickly.

The Leaves Are Spotted

Spotted leaves don’t just make your tree look less beautiful. They’re also a sign that the tree is under stress. Most often, the stress comes from fungus that collects on the leaves. Once it collects and creates spotted growth patterns, the fungus can spread to the rest of your tree and, potentially, the other plants in your yard. 

There are ways to treat the fungus, but your tree service may need to remove a portion of the damaged tree to help it recover. The only way to know for sure is to let them check it out. 

Mushrooms Are Growing Around the Roots

Many of the mushrooms that grow in your yard in the shady patches are relatively harmless. They grow without stealing nutrients from your other plants or spreading fungus throughout the rest of your yard. But they do favor certain growing conditions that aren’t always healthy for your trees.

If you see mushrooms growing, call your tree service and get them to take a look. They’ll be able to tell if the mushrooms are creating trouble for the rest of your yard or threatening the health of your trees.

Help Your Trees Stay Stress-Free

If you notice even one of these signs of stress in your trees, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with Bear Creek Tree Service as soon as possible. 
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