Trees are an amazing gift from nature that provide a variety of wonderful benefits. They supply the very oxygen that we need to breathe, provide a habitat for several birds and animals, lower your air conditioning bills by shading your home and improve your property value with their beauty. These are just a few of the many wonderful benefits we get from trees, but they need a little something from us in return. A tree can’t tell you when it’s ailing, so you must look out for the many warning signs that indicate that your tree may be in trouble.

1. Improper Watering

Most homeowners know that their tree is thirsty when it has begun to look dried out and colorless. Keeping your tree watered is important to its well-being, but many don’t realize that over-watering can damage or even kill your tree. Too much water can produce a condition called root rot and it will also flood away the nutrients that the tree needs to remain healthy. You can tell if you are over-watering if you see the area around your tree has become sticky or muddy. Ideally, that area should be damp and loose.

2. Too Many Bugs

It’s completely natural for bugs to inhabit your trees, but certain bugs can infest your trees and damage them to the point of becoming too weak to survive. Insects such as caterpillars and beetles may descend upon your trees and chew up all the leaves, and aphids enjoy sucking away all the sap. Other insects, such as ladybugs, are considered beneficial and shouldn’t be a source of worry if they are present on your trees. There are many products available to help you protect your trees from dangerous insects. They include bug barriers that inhibit the insect from moving freely within the trees and organic pesticides that kill the insect without harming your trees.

Five Warning Signs That Your Trees Require Attention

3. Yellowing Leaves

If your formerly gorgeous green leaves turn yellow at the wrong time of the year, then you may be looking at a severe nitrogen deficiency. This can be easily attended to by applying an organic nitrogen fertilizer. Be sure to follow the directions exactly to avoid adding too much of the fertilizer and causing your tree more problems.

4. Spotty Leaves

The sight of spots on your leaves most often indicates a fungal disease. Those leaves can’t usually be saved by the time you can actually see the spots, but future outbreaks can be avoided by the use of organic chemicals. Be sure to rake up and destroy these diseased leaves as they fall.

5. Diseased Branches

When you see a branch on your tree that is obviously diseased as evidenced by signs such as dark spots or splintering, you need to remove the diseased branch to ensure the problem doesn’t spread to the rest of the tree. Prune back a little further than where you can actually see the diseased portion, and you need to be sure to keep a careful eye on it for further damage.

Check your trees regularly for any signs of these problems or anything else that doesn’t look quite right to you. If you can catch a problem early, then you will have a much better chance of saving your tree without too much trouble. Don’t hesitate to contact your local tree nursery or call in a professional if you are unsure how to proceed. Take good care of your trees, and they will provide you with thanks in many ways for a long time to come.

Scottsdale Tree Trimmers is a Phoenix, AZ-based tree trimming and removal division of American Tree Masters.