Can My Diseased Trees Be Saved?

April 20th, 2016

IMG_0713Trees are no different than humans: they need the right nutrients and hydration to grow and stay healthy, and they are prone to unexpected diseases. Insects, environmental toxins, challenging weather conditions, and many other factors can place trees under enough stress that they fall ill. Once a tree is sick, only quick and professional action can save it and prevent the disease from spreading to other trees nearby. Given the vital nature of trees to our ecosystems and natural habitats, not to mention their value to your curb appeal and home value, it’s important make saving diseased trees a very high priority.

First, Look for the Signs

A tree will show signs that it is in trouble, like brittle wood, areas of decay, lack of leaves, and cracks on the trunk. You can also use the Internet to research any strange tree behavior you are noticing to determine its meaning. If you notice signs of disease, call an arborist or landscaping professional for help!


Next, Reevaluate Watering, Mulch, and Fertilizer

If your tree isn’t suffering from an advanced disease quite yet, it’s possible that you can reverse the damage by modifying your watering, mulch, and fertilizer habits. Ensure that your tree has sufficient drainage so it isn’t water-logged, as too much water can be just as detrimental as a drought. Mulch also must be placed down with care so a thick layer doesn’t suffocate the roots and trap moisture.  Fertilizer is another element of maintenance that can be potentially damaging, so don’t fertilize near your trees.


Prune Away the Disease

If the disease on your tree is isolated to specific leaves and branches, you can prune those away to prevent the spread of the disease. However, since disease can often spread even with the best of care, it is best to consult a professional who can help you determine exactly what should be done with your tree for the optimal outcome.