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How To Know When A Tree Is Sick: Signs & Symptoms

As a proud owner of a beautiful property adorned with trees, it's crucial to understand that trees, like any living organism, can get sick. Recognising when a tree is unwell is the first step in addressing the issue and ensuring the longevity of your green assets. Here, we'll explain some telltale signs that your tree may be ailing and discuss potential solutions to nurse it back to health.

How to know when your tree is sick: Signs & Symptoms:

Gippy Tree Services Arborist undertaking Tree Removal
Arborist - Gippy Tree Services

1. Leaf Discoloration and Unusual Growth Patterns One of the most apparent signs of a sick tree is a noticeable change in its leaves. Keep an eye out for:

  • Yellowing or Browning Leaves: Discoloration in leaves can indicate various problems, from nutrient deficiencies to diseases.

  • Stunted Growth: If your tree's leaves are smaller than usual, or if it's producing fewer leaves, it could be a sign of stress.




2. Bark Abnormalities A tree's bark serves as its protective outer layer. Inspect your tree for:

  • Cracks and Cankers: Cracks or oozing sores on the bark can be a sign of disease or infestation.

  • Peeling or Missing Bark: Damage to the bark can make the tree more vulnerable to pests and diseases.

3. Fungal Growth

Mushrooms or other fungal growth around the base of your tree may indicate that the tree is struggling. Certain fungi can weaken a tree's structural integrity.


4. Dead or Dying Branches The presence of dead or dying branches, especially if they are numerous, can be a sign of tree distress. These branches should be pruned to prevent further damage.


5. Pests and Infestations Unwanted visitors like insects and pests can wreak havoc on your trees. Watch for:

  • Visible Insects: Some pests, like borers or aphids, can be seen on the tree or in the soil around it.

  • Unusual Holes or Sawdust: These can be signs of wood-boring insects like beetles.

6. Root Problems Healthy roots are the foundation of a strong tree. Signs of root issues include:

  • Visible Roots: If the roots are exposed or above ground, it can indicate soil erosion or instability.

  • Dying Roots: Check for roots that are brown, brittle,or have an unusual odor.


What to Do When You Suspect a Sick Tree Once you've identified that your tree may be unwell, it's essential to act promptly:

  1. Consult a Tree Expert: Reach out to a certified arborist Company or tree surgeon company like Gippy Tree Services. We can diagnose the issue and recommend appropriate treatments.

  2. Prune Affected Branches: Remove dead or dying branches to prevent further harm and improve the tree's overall health, If you are unable to do this Gippy Tree Services offers Pruning services.

  3. Fertilise and Water: Provide your tree with the nutrients and moisture it needs to recover. Follow expert advice on the right fertilisers and watering schedules.

  4. Treat Diseases and Pests: If the problem is a disease or infestation, follow the recommended treatment plan, which may include applying pesticides or fungicides.

  5. Monitor Progress: Keep an eye on your tree's recovery and adjust your tree care program as needed.


Remember that prevention is often the best medicine for trees. Regular maintenance and care, including proper pruning, fertilisation, and pest management, can help keep your trees healthy and resilient.


A sick tree can be a cause for concern, but with early detection and the right care, many tree health issues can be successfully addressed. If you suspect that any of your trees may be unwell, don't hesitate to contact a professional tree care provider like Gippy Tree Services to ensure the well-being of your precious green companions. Healthy trees not only enhance the beauty of your property but also contribute to a thriving ecosystem for all to enjoy.





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