Cause for concern: signs of real stress in your trees

Trees come in all shapes and sizes, and many of the oddities you may notice in the trees on your property are no cause for concern.

It is always beneficial to be proactive in caring for your trees. So how can you discern common blemishes from health issues? Here are some common signs of real distress in trees, and what to do:

Missing leaves

  • If buds don’t sprout or a section of the tree is missing leaves, it’s is a sure sign of stress and a professional should be consulted.

Small or wilted foliage

  • Undersized or wilted leaves are most likely a sign of a lack of water. The obvious solution is to water the soil regularly. Some trees are simply not cut out for certain climates; you can find out with a simple internet search from an arborist.

Early leaf drop

  • When leaves change color or drop early, it may be another sign of water deprivation, but it can also be a symptom of pests or disease. If you don’t have good reason to assume the tree just needs water, it might be time to consult with a certified Arborist.

Cracks in the trunk or major limbs

  • Weather conditions cause sunscald and frost crack, which typically affect bark but can also go deeper. All cracks create opportunity for pests or disease to get into a tree. Small cracks will likely heal on their own, but larger ones – especially if they take up more than half of a tree – should be looked at by an Arborist, who can assess whether they affect the tree’s strength and represent danger to nearby structures.

Mushrooms and fungus growth

  • All mushroom and fungus growth on trees should be examined, but not all of them are bad and some are actually beneficial to a tree. Fungi that are signs of tree damage include honey fungus, chicken of the woods and ganoderma.

If you have concerns about irregularities in your trees, please contact Ripley Tree Service – an independent family business serving northeast Ohio since 2001, with 3 certified Arborists on staff.

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