Tree Care Services of Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR

Major Signs and Symptoms of Tree Stress

By AK Timber in Tree Care

Trees are a bit like human beings – they are extremely negatively impacted by stressors around them and stress found within them. In fact, trees tend to rebel against many different kinds of stressors, either causing them to prematurely shed their leaves, causing them to die, or make them just look and perform in weird ways. Sometimes, stress is caused by something that we can point to, like a specific disease or an environmental factor. Other times, it is harder to pinpoint just what is stressing your tree out. However, the most important thing for a homeowner to do is to be able to identify signs of tree stress and then make the phone call to a tree care specialist who can help.

For more information for a few of the most common signs of tree stress, keep reading.

4. Sudden Oak Death Has Taken Your Tree

  • Clusters of leaves die at the same time or fall at the same time
  • Stems and tips of leaves turn brown prematurely
  • Trunk cankers form near the base of the trunk

Oak trees are some of the strongest trees you can buy, but Sudden Oak Death is a result of too much stress on the tree. This is a very serious problem that can impact entire patches of woods. If you have one oak tree that has SOD, chances are that the rest of your trees are feeling the stress from it as well. You need to be on the lookout.

According to the Sudden Oak Death Organization,  oak trees aren’t the only ones to suffer from this type of stressor. In fact, over 100 different types of plants and trees get it, including oak trees, of course. It gets the name because it killed millions of trees on the west coast.

Moreso than the trees, this is a problem that should stress everyone out.

3. There Are Pests Lurking About Your Tree

  • Pests tend to take over ivy-covered trees first
  • Pests like to make a home anywhere easy, and a stressed tree is a perfect place
  • Can be hard to find, but needs to be taken care of quickly

According to the website Gardening Know How, “Weakened plants and trees are more susceptible to problems like pests or disease. It is best to always remove the ivy from the tree and keep it away from the trunk of the tree, at least 3 to 4 feet, to prevent it from climbing up the tree again.”

If you are seeing more pests hanging around the trees in your yard, there is a chance that at least one of them is stressed by something other than the pests themselves. Pests are smart and look for trees that are vulnerable. Trees that have a disease, are overwatered, are underwatered, or just aren’t in the right living conditions make for great homes.

This is one of the biggest problems that we see – pests overtaking vulnerable trees and making a bad situation even worse. Even if you are only seeing ants on the tree, make sure you look for other problems.

2. Your Tree Has Soft Spots

  • May not be a fungus
  • Often reveals a deeper, more serious problem
  • Wash hands after touching a soft spot

If your tree has soft spots, it is certainly trying to tell you something, according to the University of Illinois. What it is trying to tell you differs from tree to tree, but there are chances that it is telling you it is stressed out. Soft spots form when there is a fungal problem on the tree, if there is an infestation, or if the tree has been wounded. These are all stressors that put immense amounts of pressure on the tree.

Unfortunately, so many people will miss this sign of stress because they don’t touch their trees and feel the soft spots – and once the spots are big enough to spot with your eyes, it is likely that something other than stress has infiltrated the tree and you have a bigger problem.

As soon as you see a soft spot on your tree, call a professional tree care company. This is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be handled by a professional who has all of the tools and skills needed.

1. The Tree Doesn’t Belong Here

  • The tree isn’t in the right climate
  • You may not have planted the tree in the correct amount of sun/shade
  • Your yard isn’t big enough for the root system of the tree

As sad as it is to say, sometimes trees just don’t belong where they have been planted. If you purchased a tree without doing any research on it, there is a chance that you just bought a tree that doesn’t grow well in our climate. Trees that are made for places that don’t get cold or trees that don’t like a lot of water in the air don’t typically grow all that well here.

It could also be that your tree does grow well here, but you planted it in the wrong place. Some trees need a lot of sun while others need more shade. When planting a tree, make sure to pay attention to all of the rules that show how a tree grows best. Without the proper exposure, your trees will become stressed.

Some of the obvious signs that your tree is stressed because it isn’t in the right environment include failure to thrive, wilting leaves, growing only in one direction, instability, and soft spots on the trunk and branches.

AK Timber Services is your first line of defense when your trees seem to be extremely stressed out and on the verge of collapse – literally or figuratively. Give our Vancouver tree care company a call and we will come to your home and diagnose any problems that we see.  Then, we can introduce you to the different ways to tackle the problem, all of which will be safe for your entire family (including pets). However, the sooner we figure out the problem, the sooner we can give you answers and solutions and your trees will return to their beautiful selves.

Give us a call today at (360) 635-1076  to get started – there is no time like the present.

Header Photo Courtesy of paul bica on Flickr!