the long reaching branches of a sick bare tree in an edmonton yard

Tree Troubleshooting: Signs That You Have a Sick Tree

If you’re not an expert arborist (or in other words, a tree surgeon), it can sometimes be difficult to tell if a tree in your yard is healthy.

With the unpredictability of disease and the extremes of Edmonton weather, your trees can go through a lot in the span of a year. Trees are natural organisms just like us. They grow up and can get sick in a variety of ways. They may not be as complicated as humans, but they still have ways of communicating when they’re in distress and need a little help. 


Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for signs that you have a sick tree:

Leaves
A tree’s leaves are part of its protection and its main power plant. They provide shade and they’re also where green chlorophyll helps convert the energy of the sun into useable energy for the tree. In both deciduous trees (whose leaves fall off periodically) and evergreen trees (whose leaves remain the same throughout the year), discoloration of the leaves may mean that something is wrong. Of course, for deciduous trees this remains true only in the summer when their chlorophyll should be producing energy to store for the winter.


Bark
The bark of a tree is its armour. It is a thick outer layer that protects the younger wood underneath from animals, insects, and other dangers. Bark does sometimes fall from a tree naturally. When this occurs, the bark is typically pliable and strong. However, if bark starts easily coming loose, or is unusually brittle, it means that the tree is having trouble protecting itself and might be sick. Similarly, any obvious cankers, fungi, or lots of holes in the trunk are bad signs for the tree’s health.

Roots
The root system is the base of the tree. It anchors the tree in the ground and it’s an important way trees collect water. Be careful not to damage a tree’s root system when doing regular gardening tasks such as mowing the lawn. Physically damaged roots can lead to problems for the whole tree.

When do I call an arborist for help?
Just like with humans, disease prevention is preferable to emergency care when it comes to a tree’s health. Although there are many indications that a tree may be in distress, some are subtler than others and may require the expertise of a professional arborist to identify. If you’d like to assess the health of your trees or just find out what you can do to protect them, contact us today at All Season Tree Service in Edmonton for professional advice and services.

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