IMG_1645We always advise consulting a certified arborist if you have concerns about your trees’ health or need advice regarding plant health care. However, there are some easily recognizable signs that indicate declining tree health. If you pay attention to these signs, you can quickly notify a tree care professional to address your tree’s health—better increasing its chances of survival.

Pay attention to these signs:

  • Dead or broken branches. Unsure if a tree branch is dead? Bend it gently between your fingers. A dead branch will snap. A living branch will bend easily. It is important to remove dead or broken branches before they fall on their own, causing damage to your property.
  • Lack of new growth. Check the tree’s trunk and branches for signs of growth, such as new buds or twigs.
  • Loose or peeling bark. A bare section of a tree trunk could be more susceptible to attack from insects or diseases.
  • Bare patches. A year-round bare patch on an evergreen or a bare patch on a deciduous tree in the spring, can be a sign of damage.
  • Fungi. Deformed growth like mushrooms or other fungi on the tree’s exterior can signal a problem.
  • Wilted leaves and stems. If you notice stems and leaves that have begun to wilt, your tree is likely suffering stress due to one of a variety of causes, including potential disease, lack of water, or too much sun.
  • Inappropriate leaf color. Red and yellow leaves in the fall are normal for many trees. However, yellow leaves during the summer could indicate a serious problem with your tree’s health.
  • Evidence of insects. You may see the actual insects themselves visible on the tree, or other evidence of their presence. The signs of insect activity can include oozing sap, distorted leaves, a lack of fruit and flower buds or woodpecker activity.


If you notice any of these signs, contact your arborists at Independent Tree immediately. Taking early action to address any potential issues will increase the likelihood that your tree can be restored to good health.