How to Identify Tree Damage

Damage to a tree is directly related to the health of a tree and the amount of tree care it receives. A healthy tree will show green leaves, strong branch growth and a good crown that is flush with leaves. Tree damage can show up in a number ways. Here are a few signs of tree damage:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Leaves with strange shapes
  • Small leaves
  • Mushrooms growing on the trunk
  • A dying canopy
  • Dead branches
  • An irregular trunk

The above conditions may be caused by insects, disease or poor soil conditions.

Types of Common Tree Disease

The Armillaria Root Disease is a common fungus disease that attacks trees all across the country. The fungus attacks healthy trees, weakens them and opens them up to attacks by insects and other diseases.

Oak wilt is another disease that attacks hardwood trees and is a major cause of declining oaks in some areas. No cure exists for oak wilt.

Anthranose disease is a common problem in the eastern United States. This fungus travels from root to root and can infect large stands of trees. This fungus attacks white oaks, sycamores, black walnuts and dogwoods. Trees in urban areas are most susceptible to this problem.

Dutch elm disease has caused tremendous damage to America’s elm family. This fungus blocks tree tissues from sending vital water to branches, causing wilt and crown defoliation.

Signs of Tree Damage on leaves

A powder-like covering on leaves is a sign of powdery mildew disease. Any tree can be attacked by this fungus. Sprayed sulfur and fungicides are used to fight this disease.

Dull and lightly colored leaves appearing in early summer are a sign of verticillium wilt disease. Leaves fall and branches die. Maple, elm and catalpa trees can be hit by this problem. The only treatment is sufficient watering, pruning and fertilizing.

Spots on leaves are a sign of anthranose disease. Thinning branches, watering and fertilizing helps prevent this problem.

Trunk Diseases

A conk or a mushroom growing on the trunk is a sign of heart rot. The tree rots from the inside and can weaken and fall. Any tree exhibiting heart rot that’s near a home or building should be taken down.

Good tree care involves monitoring trees and removing those with advanced damage. These are weak trees that can fall, causing serious damage to buildings, trees and foliage.


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