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  • Writer's pictureCT Trees



September 17, 2018

Being able to diagnose potentially dying trees will help you get the problem taken care of faster.

Trees are a beautiful and functional piece of landscaping for your yard and can provide years of natural privacy, beautiful leaves and flowers, and even fruit! Unfortunately, trees are vulnerable to a host of potential diseases that can kill your tree from the inside out, making it hard to tell if your tree is well or dying. Typically, obvious signs like moldy growth or an abundance of brown leaves in spring,  will let you know something is wrong, but it can be tough to figure out just how much trouble your tree is actually in. When trees are dying, it’s critical to have them cut down or revived because they can cause a lot of damage to your property or your home if they fall.

Symptoms of a Dying Tree

Knowing the difference between a sick tree and a dying tree can save you a lot of headache when attempting to save a tree. Symptoms to look for are:

  • Mushrooms at the Base – Some mushrooms are beneficial to trees, some are dangerous.

  • A Tree without leaves – This is the most common way to tell you that your tree may be sick and there are lots of reasons for it. A tree could have buds but no leaves, no leaves on the top of the tree, or leaves on just one side of a tree, all of which are indicative of a problem.

  • Early Leaf Drop – If your tree is losing leaves before fall, it could be because of too much heat, lack of water, a pest, or a tree disease.

  • Changing Colors too Early – If your tree’s leaves are beginning to change color in the middle of summer when other trees are still green, your tree could be under stress. Leaves that are brown in the summertime could have leaf scorch.

  • Wilting Leaves – If you just planted this tree, your tree could have transplant shock.

  • Spotty Leaves – This could be caused by a tree fungus, especially after a rainy season like spring.

  • A Leaning Tree – A gradual lean in your tree is not a huge deal, but a tree that was dislocated from a storm could be at risk of falling.

  • Splits or Cracks in your Tree – Minor splits can heal on their own, but severe splits can rarely be repaired or healed, especially if over half of the tree is affected.

How to Save a Dying Tree

Try a “scratch test” to see if your tree is just sick or if it’s dying: using your fingertips or a pocket knife, scratch a twig on the tree, if it’s green and moist underneath, your tree is alive. If your tree fails the scratch test, meaning it’s brown and brittle underneath, look for the symptoms listed above. If your tree has one or more symptoms, you should call a professional right away for a consultation. A professional, certified arborist will be your most reliable resource to save your sick tree and they can give you a diagnosis and treatment plan. If your tree is dying, you should have it professionally removed before it becomes a hazard to your home.

NATURAL SYSTEMS arborists are highly trained in Tree Removal, Tree Trimming, and Stump Grinding. Call us at (860)621-0008 to find out more about our expert arborist services in Southington and central CT.



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