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Are Your Trees Stressed Out?

You may be surprised to learn that your trees can experience stress from the environment around them. This will manifest itself in things like disease, cracks, splits, and leaf drop. Trees located in dense forests can live for hundreds of years, while trees located within cities only last a few decades at best. This is because those trees are victims of the urban landscape that can result in detrimental effects to tree health.

Most stress that occurs to trees is a result of human activity. Improper planting is a very common cause of tree decline. These practices include too much or too little watering, soil compaction, exposure to pollution and road salt, and construction near roots. Usually, one or more of these factors contributes to poor tree health.

The best way you can help prevent tree stress is to ensure proper planting to begin with, followed by sufficient watering and pruning.

Look for Signs of Stress

Always be on the lookout for signs of tree stress. These signs can include:

  • Canopy Dieback: When inspecting your tree’s canopy, take note if the foliage is sparse, or you spot many dead branches. If so, this is a classic sign your trees are under stress.
  • Cracks or Splits: If you spot large cracks in the trunk, this is a sign of decay. Small splits will likely heal on their own, but large, deep splits cannot be remedied and the tree is likely already dead.
  • Co-Dominant Trunks: Trees with two trunks that meet in a V shape are under stress.
  • Leaning: While it’s common for some trees to lean over gradually with time, sudden leaning is a cause for concern. This can happen after a storm or frequent rains.
  • Leaf Drop: If you see your trees losing leaves when they shouldn’t, like in the summer, this signals that the tree is managing its stress by conserving its resources. Early leaf drop is caused by disease, extreme heat, or too much or too little water.
  • Early Fall Colors: If you see leaf color changes in August rather than mid to late September, this is due to nutrient deficiencies, pest invasion and soil compaction.
  • Wilting or Brown Leaves: This happens with newly transplanted trees and can signal transplant shock. You can usually fix this with sufficient watering and the addition of mulch.
  • Leaf Scorch: When the leaves look crispy, brittle and brown during the dog days of summer, this is a result of leaf scorch. Remedy this with proper watering and care all year long.
  • Spotted Leaves: This is a sign of tree fungus and is common during the rainy season. You’ll need to consult with an arborist, who can create a proper treatment plan.
  • Mushrooms at the Base: When you see fungi growing at the base of the trunk, this is a sign of decay. That’s because mushrooms usually set up shop on rotting or dead wood.

If you are experiencing any of the above issues with your trees, it’s important to take action as soon as you can to have the best chance of saving them.

Contact Bare Roots Tree Solutions

If you need help, contact our certified arborists in Dallas at 866-616-3097.