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diagnosing your tree

Diagnosing a tree can be tricky. In order to know what may be wrong, you need to know how a healthy tree looks and grows. There are four major categories for problems that can arise with trees:

Cultural: These types of problems can be brought on by use of pesticides, over or under watering, fertilizing improperly, etc.

Environmental: These problems are usually caused by nature. This can include droughts, lightning, flooding, etc.

Diseases: There are some diseases that can infect trees leaving them weak and prone to other diseases such as bacteria, viruses, and nematodes.

Insects: Most insects are not harmful to trees but others can damage trees and leave spots or even take valuable nutrients that the trees need to thrive.

Please use the following information to help with a diagnosis of what ails your tree.  Please note, this is just a general guideline and not a guarantee of the issue(s) that affect your tree.

1. Leaves and Flower
• Is your tree losing leaves?
• Do the leaves have holes or ragged edges?
• Are the leaves turning brown?
• Are there less leaves than there used to be?
• Do the leaves have spots or bumps?
• Are there insects on the leaves?

These symptoms may be caused by insects, disease, or weather damage.

2. Trunk and Bark
• Has the bark been injured by equipment, vehicles, wires, or animals?
• Are insects visible?
• Is the bark split or cracked?
• Has the tree been damaged by heavy winds?
• Is the trunk showing signs of decay or hollowing?
• Are there brown or green streaks?
• Is fungus coming out of the trunk?

The tree may be infected with bacteria or have internal wood decay.

3. Branches
• Are there dead branches?
• Is there evidence of insects?
• Do the branches overhang?

The tree may be in need of pruning which will offer the tree direction of growth.

4. Roots
• Do the roots wrap around the base of the tree?
• Is the tree planted too deep?
• Is the tree planted too close to a building?
• Are there cuts or cracks at the base of the trunk?

The tree is likely planted too deep or is too close to a home or building. It may have also been injured in some way from equipment such as a lawn mower.

If you have a dying tree on your property, it must be addressed right away. Dying trees can not only reduce your property value, but they pose a safety risk. A dying tree can lose many small branches to large limbs or they can even topple over from extreme weakness.

Signs that your tree is dying:
1. Lack of leaves on all or part of the tree
2. Bark becoming brittle and falling off
3. Spongy limbs or branches
4. Limbs that die and fall off











Timber Masters is a professional, licensed, and fully insured tree care company servicing all of Northwest Indiana. Schererville, Crown Point, Highland, Griffith, Munster,
Hammond, East Chicago, Dyer, Saint John, Merrillville, Lowell, Demotte, Cedar Lake, Hobart, Valparaiso, Portage, Chesterton, Lake of the Four Seasons, Whiting