Common Signs of Overwatered Trees That Your Local Tree Service Wants You to Know

July 20, 2020

You love the trees in your yard. They provide you with shade, keep your home cooler, and add tons of value to your property. If you’re like most homeowners, this means you’re going to extra lengths to make sure your trees are watered properly during the dry spells common to Colorado summers. While some water is beneficial and can keep your trees growing well for years to come, it is possible to overdo it. When you overwater your trees, you’re not doing them any favors. In fact, you’re increasing the likelihood of having to schedule a tree removal appointment with your Denver tree company. Here are a few of the most common signs of overwatering you need to watch for.

Consistently Wet Ground
It’s normal for the soil in your yard to stay damp throughout the growing season. This is how you know that your grass and your landscaping is properly hydrated. If you’ve been properly watering your yard, you’ll know what that amount of moisture should feel like beneath your feet. The surface of the dirt should feel cool, but you shouldn’t see water pooling up with each step you take. 

Look around the trees on your property and see how wet the soil is. If you hear squelching noises as you walk around the trees or notice that the ground is wet, not damp, you’re overwatering your trees. The best thing you can do is check your sprinkler system and adjust the spray patterns away from the affected trees. If the spray doesn’t water near the trees, get your system inspected and see if you have a leak in the system. If you do, you’ll need to get it repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise, the overwatering will continue for months on end.

The Leaves are Yellow
During the growing season, it’s normal for your trees to consistently produce new growth. That growth should always be vibrant green in color until the temperatures start to change. Green leaves show that your trees are getting the right amount of water and nutrients to stay healthy. 

If you notice that the new growth is yellow or pale green instead of the deep green you’ve come to expect, you’re likely overwatering the tree. Changing leaf colors are often the earliest sign of a tree in distress. It means that the tree’s vascular system is struggling to send the appropriate nutrients where the tree needs it most. This causes underperforming new growth. Cutting back on watering may fix the problem, but you’ll also want to get your trees inspected. You may need to trim away portions of the tree that got damaged by the excess moisture.

The Leaves Are Brittle
Overwatering doesn’t always stop new growth from happening or cause the leaves to turn yellow. Sometimes, it just messes with the strength and durability of the leaves themselves. Too much water can flood the cells of the leaves, making the growth brittle without changing the color of your tree’s canopy.

Pay attention to the way your leaves look after periods of high wind or after heavy rainfall. If a good portion of the leaves are a broken or damaged after the storm while others on different trees look normal, you’re likely overwatering the tree. 

The Tree Is Starting to Wilt
When your trees get just enough water, the cells of the trunk and limbs are able to support the full weight of the tree’s growth easily. They’re sturdy and are receiving the nutrients they need to thrive. When you overwater the tree, the cells start to expand and weaken. When this happens, they won’t be able to support the same amount of weight easily. This can cause the newer growth on the tree to start to wilt or sag. You may even notice leaves starting to go limp or curl up while they’re still on the branch. 

Strange, Musty Odors
Fungus and mold spores live in the soil in your yard. This is completely natural and, in normal circumstances, is harmless to your plants. However, if you’re overwatering your trees, that fungus and mold can start to grow. When it’s mild, it won’t hurt your trees. However, if you let it continue, the fungus will end up spreading throughout the tree.

Often, you won’t notice the fungus until it’s spread. However, if you’re observant, you may notice a strange, musty smell around the bark. This will be distinctly different from the typical earthy smell that your trees put off. If you’ve ever been in a musty or mildew-laden room, you’ll know what to check for. 

What to Do to Fix Overwatered Trees
It is possible to fix overwatered trees without having to remove them from your property. However, you’ll need to start as soon as you notice the problem. The first thing you’ll want to do is stop watering your trees for at least a week. This will give the soil a chance to dry out and allows the tree to recover and use up the excess water stored in its roots and trunk. 

If the problems persist and you still see underwhelming growth, schedule an appointment with your tree care team as soon as possible. If the overwatering has gone on for months, you’ll likely need to trim the tree back considerably to restore the system’s health. However, if the damage isn’t extensive, your tree trimming experts will be able to recommend the next steps to help get your tree back in shape.

Don’t Let Overwatered Trees Destroy Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Overwatered trees can damage the impact that your home’s landscaping has. If you’re worried about overwatered trees, don’t wait to see what happens. Schedule an appointment with our team as soon as possible. We’ll be able to make sure your trees are growing properly and don’t have any underlying issues that could threaten their health and their value to your property. Contact us online or call (720) 299-1409 to speak with one of our dedicated team members about your concerns. 
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