How to Tell if a Tree Is Diseased: 6 Signs to Watch For

Learning how to tell if a tree is diseased is the first step in effective tree removal in Tarpon Springs. In this post, Ken’s Tree Service explains the signs that your tree needs urgent care. If you notice the following issues, please call us quickly for the best chance of saving the tree. 

1. Issues with the Bark

Bark abnormalities usually signify that your tree is in distress. Watch out for: 

  • Missing bark: If the tree starts to shed its bark when it never did before, it’s a cry for help. While some bark loss is natural, if the tree is sick, the spot remains smooth with no new bark growth. 
  • Vertical cracks: Cracks on the trunk never bode well. When they run vertically, it often signifies that your tree is dying. The larger the wound, the more severe the issue.  

2. Less Foliage

A distressed tree often slows down the production of new leaves during the growing season. It generally does this to reserve resources, so this could be a sign of drought damage or malnutrition. It’s best to consult a professional before the condition worsens.

3. Many Dead Branches

It’s natural for branches to die off in time. However, it is not natural for many to die at once. If branches are falling off or seem overly brittle, get someone to check the tree. This is one of the surest ways how to tell if a tree is diseased. 

4. A Leaning Trunk

A tilting trunk that was previously straight is a sure sign of root stress. If the tree grows unevenly and tilts, it is not a big deal. However, watch for signs that it might overbalance. In either event, if the trunk leans at more than 30 degrees, it might be wise to remove the tree for safety reasons.

5. Strange Leaf Behavior

Any leaf behavior out of the ordinary should raise concern. However, the following usually indicate distress: 

  • Unseasonal leaf drop: There are several potential causes, including stress, heat, drought, pests, or disease.
  • Dead leaves not dropping: This is a sign that the temperature changed too quickly and too early in the season or of pest damage. 
  • Leaf discoloration: Discolored leaves are typical in trees under stress or attack from pests and diseases. It is also a common sign of drought. 

6. Fungus and Pests

Fungi on a tree can look picturesque but can signify decay. This is particularly true with mushrooms growing around the roots. Pest activity can also point to decay as pests exploit weak spots in the tree’s defenses. In both cases, speedy intervention might still save the tree. Doing nothing will put other trees and shrubs at risk. 

Contact Us for Professional Advice

Now that you know how to tell if a tree is diseased, you may be wondering how it got that way. Read up on tree care accidents, and then call Ken’s Tree Service at (727) 934-5804 to schedule your professional consultation with a certified arborist. 

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