6 Signs to look out for when assessing the health of your tree
Once you’re finished ‘enjoying’ the Winter weather, you should take the time to take stock of the current health of your trees. Even a cursory glance from time to time can make all the difference in maintaining the optimal health of our bark covered friends. Otherwise, you might miss on-setting problems until they have reached the point of no return, the result of which often ends up creating a much more irreversible problem in the long run to both the tree and it’s habitat, never underestimate the effect a tree has on its surrounding environments, they are literally part of the foundations of everything in view above surface level.
With that solemn warning in mind, here are some of the common signs of a healthy tree to monitor for:
1 – You can see only one central tree trunk
A central trunk adds both an aesthetic straight appearance and a lot of stability to the structure of your tree. If it looks as if there’s more than one main trunk, it is more than likely some sort of split may have occurred that warrants further investigation by a professional tree surgeon. Be sure to note which type of tree you have, as this will help you find the best example of what the central trunk should really look like. There are many differences between different types of trees which play a vital role in treatment of a multitude of conditions. In Glasgow we have a handful of different tree types that make a common appearance in our ecosystem.
2 – Signs of tree growth
If your tree is healthy, it should be producing new growth throughout its branches and trunks on a consistent basis. You can judge by sight alone, but taking measurements of your buds from year to year will be even more useful and a good amount more accurate (plus interesting if you’re passionate about nature like us!). Scarring on the branches is one of the main dead giveaways as well to watch out for. Different types of trees have their own style of growth pattern, so again be sure to do some research on what exact type of growth is normal for whatever variety resides in your landscape. Unfortunately healthy trees are more of a common sight than we would like to see here in Glasgow.
3 – Full appearance
If you have a lot of dead and broken branches residing on the tree, it’s important to prune them as soon as possible, similar to when you have one bad tooth, you don’t want the infection to spread and this can often be a warning sign of the underlying health and things to come. Insects and even germs and bacteria can take solace in dead tree limbs and branches, it’s a nice cosy home that provides them with everything they need to survive but at the expense of your beloved tree! One of the best ways to tell if your tree is actually thriving is by a full appearance, we don’t want to sound too shallow but you really can judge a tree but its appearance! You can also scratch one of the branches with your nails or even gently bend one, gently though let’s not do any more damage. If they give way easily or fail to show any green under the outer layer, you likely have a dead limb. In that case, be sure to cut it immediately. Sounds extreme we know but we promise the amputation is for the trees own good!
4 – Sturdy Bark
Bark shouldn’t be visibly peeling away from the tree unless you have a maple or birch (again note how important it is to know the type of tree you have, call a professional tree surgeon if you’re not sure). Outside of those varieties, the bark should look sturdy and even give resistance to manual peeling, so feel free to do some gentle testing. Strong bark is also generally free of any visible cracking, holes, or fungi. Your tree should have a healthy complexion! Many people here in Glasgow note our tree experts obsession with checking bark, they even call us barking mad!
5 – Plentiful Leaves
If you have bare patches where no leaves appear to be growing on your branches, it could be a sign of major damage. This could be caused by anything from a lack of nutrition to overzealous pruning or the effects of pesticide treatments, this is why most tree surgeons will push for organic soil fertilization techniques. Infestations from insects can also lead to an evident lack of leaves, they eat it all up! If you don’t notice a full appearance of leaves, be sure to call a professional tree arborist to help suss out the exact cause at hand.
6 – Vibrant Leaves
The appearance of the leaves themselves can also tell you a lot about the health of the tree. For instance, you should make sure that the leaves are the appropriate colour for the current season, this information can be found with a quick google search. You should also research to make sure you know exactly what colour the leaves on your tree should be a good guide can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/eek/veg/trees/treestruecolor.htm . Some are naturally meant to be yellow, even in months outside of the fall season. You need to be familiar with the typical shapes of your leaves as well, really get to know your tree! Any glaring disparity is grounds for action or calling out a tree surgeon. If all looks well however, it’s safe to assume that the tree is doing fine but make sure to check again frequently. Out here in Glasgow it gets cold but we still venture out to check the landscape for problems at least once a month.
If in any doubt about your trees it’s always best to get in touch with a professional team of tree surgeons such as http://premiertreesurgeons.com instead of risking damage to your landscape – give us a call or a message if you’re in Glasgow and feel like you would benefit from talking to someone with 20+ years experience in the tree surgery industry.