How to Know if a Tree Is Sick: 4 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

If you briefly scanned your yard, would you know if a tree is sick? During our arborist services in Fort Walton Beach, our team at Backridge Tree Service sometimes happens upon sick trees that go unnoticed by property owners. A diseased tree can spread its illness to other trees in the vicinity.

Additionally, it can also lose enough structural integrity to fall, causing injury and property damage. Find out whether you have a sick tree below. 

tree is sick

First Warning Signs

The first common signs that your tree is sick include:

  • Dead branches
  • Wilted leaves
  • Dry or rotting chunks of trunk
  • Holes in the trunk

If you pick up on these warning signs, investigate further or call a tree care professional to determine the best course of action. 

How to Know if a Tree Is Sick

Although trees seem endlessly immortal to many people, they too can suffer from a severe illness that results in their unfortunate death. If you already identified one or more alarming symptoms, look more closely for these harbingers of disease. 

#1 Peeling Bark

The bark that cloaks a tree’s trunk protects the innermost wood from insects and rot. It works similarly to human skin in that it provides the tree’s first line of defense against outside elements. If the bark peels in large quantities or you notice symptoms like splitting tree bark, your tree may be sick.

#2 Discharge

A tree that expresses large quantities of discharge suffers from advanced stages of a disease. Check the trunk for fluids or substances similar to the following:

  • Sticky jelly-like substances called sap
  • Foamy, odorous liquid called alcoholic white flux
  • Clear, water-like liquid slime flux

Each of these symptoms occurs because of bacterial diseases or stress. 

#3 Fungal Growth

Do numerous fungal growths make their home on your tree’s trunk or around the roots? A surplus of mushrooms and other fungi sadly indicates a fungal infection. You can often find fungus on decaying, fallen trees in the forest.

These fungi assist with breaking down the dead tree’s matter, returning its constituents to the dirt. While this process is healthy and helpful for logs and stumps, it shouldn’t occur on living trees. Sometimes, an experienced arborist can assist you in saving the tree before the infection does irreversible damage. 

#4 Discolored Leaves

Colorful leaves are normal during autumn when trees go dormant and drop them. Some tree species even sport brightly colored leaves all year long. However, most trees typically have regular, green leaves.

Discolored or malformed leaves can indicate root damage, dead branches, and herbicide exposure. Like trees with fungal infections, trees with deformed or oddly colored leaves can survive their plight if treated in time. 

Confirm Your Diagnosis with Backridge Tree Service

Did this help you confirm that your tree is sick? Seek a professional opinion from our reputable arborists with a tree risk assessment. Our arborists at Backridge Tree Service will inspect and diagnose your tree before helping you decide on the best solution, especially if you suspect issues like a partially-uprooted tree. Call us at (850) 240-2829 to schedule an appointment.

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