Are you worried that your trees are starting to look a little unhealthy? Or maybe you’re looking for trees to cut down and thin out, and want to pick the weakest specimens and leave the stronger growth. Then again, perhaps you’re at the nursery and want to pick out the tree with the best chance of surviving. Absent of any obvious signs of damage like disease, dying limbs, rot and so on, it can be difficult to tell how a tree is doing from day to day, but we can help! Check out our simple list of the signs of a healthy tree that’s likely to survive for many years into the future!
A Single Main Trunk
A single “leader” or trunk is a good sign of a healthy tree. If a tree starts to branch off close to the base, it’s hard to predict just how the tree will grow. Also, the tree loses a lot of stability if it develops two trunks, which can endanger the tree as it starts growing higher. There are some trees, particularly flowering fruit trees, that can develop multiple leaders and are usually fine with them — but for larger trees, you will want to avoid this danger sign.
Regular Signs of New Growth
Trees shouldn’t be producing growth out of season, but healthy trees will produce new growth each year. Look for new leaf shoots on both the branches and the trunk. You can also check the bud marks for the growth pattern for the past couple of years to see if the tree suddenly stopped growing very much, which is often a worrying sign.
The tree should have no dead or rotting branches if possible; these are signs of overgrowth, or possibly a new infestation that is starting to cause damage and could destroy the tree. If you aren’t sure, test tree limbs by giving them a gentle tug. Living limbs will bend easily, while dead limbs will be brittle.
Bark only peels naturally on a few trees: eucalyptus, birches, and similar species with white bark. Otherwise, peeling or loose bark is a sign that a tree is either very old or experiencing some serious health problems. Both should give you pause when you are choosing a strong, healthy tree. Be wary of peeling or cracking bark, or bark that looks like it has a lot of damage.
Beware of drooping, tired-looking leaves. This is a sign that the tree has been poorly cared for and is suffering from a problem. Many different things can cause droopy leaves, and none of them are a good omen of the future health of the tree.
Leaves should also be plentiful, with no obvious bare patches where branches aren’t producing leaves. Look for any loss of color or stunted leaf growth as well.
To learn more about the trees and plants that work best with your local landscaping, or arrange to have some eco-friendly landscaping works done on your property, give us a call today at The Natural Way!