5 Things To Check In A Tree Health Evaluation

It's important to evaluate your landscape tree's health periodically. This way you catch issues early when an arborist can still help you fix them.

1. Trunk Health

There are three concerns when checking the trunk's health — bark loss, insect damage, and fungal growth. Bark that is falling off or has been torn off can affect the tree's health. Insect damage, such as small boreholes in the trunk, is another concerning factor. Fungal growth, particularly mushrooms sprouting from the trunk, can indicate interior rot. If any of these are issues, help from an arborist is needed to see if the tree can be saved.

2. Branch Form

How the branches grow is another important health indicator. Some dead branches are normal, although they should be removed. The living branches should create a balanced canopy that is the same size on all sides. There shouldn't be any crossed or rubbing branches, and most of the branches should grow out at an angle to the trunk. Weak branch form makes wind damage more likely, so pruning may be necessary.

3. Leaf Appearance

How healthy do the leaves look? They should be an even green in the correct shade for the tree species. Holes, discolored spots, and curling edges can indicate health issues such as fungal or bacterial infections, drought stress, or insect issues. Premature leaf drop or leaves that turn brown and dry out of season are also red flags that indicate that it is time to have an arborist assess your tree.

4. Surface Roots

You can't really inspect the deep roots of your tree, but you can get an idea of their health. Surface roots should appear healthy, not soft or damaged. These roots shouldn't wrap around the base of the trunk but instead radiate away from the base of the tree. The trunk itself should flare out slightly at the bottom to meet the surface roots so that the base is slightly wider than the rest of the trunk. Further, there should be no mushrooms growing up from the root zone of the tree.

5. Soil Quality

Good soil is what leads to healthy tree growth, so it is a good idea to assess the quality. It should be rich in organic material and drain properly. Heavy clay soil or nutrient-deficient sandy soil can stress a tree. Fertilization may be necessary to maintain a healthy nutrient profile. Mulching can help improve soil quality and retain soil moisture. An arborist can test the soil and make amendment recommendations.

Contact a certified arborist for hire in your area to have your tree's health professionally evaluated.

About Me

Making Over My Yard

After we purchased our first home, I realized that there were a few things in the yard we needed to focus on. In addition to going through and weeding the entire area, we also started thinking about things that we could plant that would add a little interest. It was really incredible to see how much of a difference our efforts made, and pretty soon our yard was one of the nicest ones in our neighborhood. Believe it or not, we even had people asking us who did the work professionally, which was hilarious because we were just doing the best we could. This blog is all about making over your yard with the right landscaping.

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