Trees are just like people – they are a living organisms with a complex method of respiration, reproduction, digestion, excretion, and in some species, even defense. Trees require the right amount of water, nutrients, and sunlight to stay healthy and avoid infestation from insects. Trees can become ill when they experience stressors from their surrounding environment. Bugs, excess or lack of rain, or toxins (dumped by people) can cause a tree to fall ill. And just like people, trees are able to recover from sickness but sometimes they experience too much damage and are not able to recover. A sick or dying tree can pose a threat to your home – the disease could spread to other plants or the tree could collapse on your home or vehicle.

So how can you tell if a tree is dying and know if it is worth saving? Follow our guide below.

Check for Signs of Illness

When a person is sick they commonly have a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, or a fever. Trees, too, can present symptoms of a sickness, we just have to keep our eyes open for the signs of sickness. Cracks in the truck, brittle bark or limbs, small areas of decay, and a lack of leaves can all indicate an illness in your tree.

Check the Amount of Water and Fertilizer Your Plant Is Receiving

Depending on the symptoms being displayed, you may be able to reverse the illness your tree is suffering from. Over or under watering can damage a tree; check to make sure that the area surrounding the tree is not water logged from a recent rain or a sprinkler cycle. If your area has been suffering from a drought and your tree has not had water in several days, it could be thirsty. Follow your local ordinances and try to provide a thorough watering for your tree to reverse the damage and prevent more from occurring in the dry weather.

Too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Over fertilizing a tree can be detrimental to the tree’s health. If you typically lay mulch or rocks around your trees, make sure that the mulch or rocks is not to thick so as to block the absorption of water, prevent the drainage of excess water, or suffocate the tree’s root system.

If your tree resumes normalcy after correcting a water or fertilizer issue, you can breathe easy. The damage to your tree is reversible.

Prune the Affected Areas

If your tree does not improve with the above mentioned tips, it may be another issue that is plaguing your arbor. If the decay or disease seems to be isolates to a few branches, you may be able to stop it from spreading throughout the rest of the tree by cutting away the damaged parts.

Remove the Diseased Tree

If you noticed the diseased tree too late or nothing you have done has stopped the spread of illness of your tree, then the best thing you can do is prevent it from spreading and have the tree removed. Think of it as if the diseased tree was an individual with the Flu virus. Your best bet to avoid infecting others is to remove the infected individual from the area. Removing a diseased tree can be difficult, don’t strain yourself or risk additional damage and contact our office today.