Warning Signs Of A Sick Tree

Do you have a sick tree? As a typical homeowner it can be difficult to tell the difference between changes in your tree that indicate illness and normal changes throughout seasons and their lifespan. Here we will go over what are common health symptoms and what signs are typically not alarming.

What Symptoms Indicate A Sick Tree:

Canopy DeclineCanopy Dieback:

Canopy dieback refers to the decline of a tree’s canopy. When you step back and look at your tree if may look sparse and not as full as other trees during this time of year.Cause: Canopy dieback is a sign of overall health decline. This can be caused by an insect or disease, old age, stressors such as drought, extreme weather, and soil compaction.
sick tree early leaf dropEarly Leaf Drop:

Early leaf drop refers to the leaves of your trees falling during the spring, summer.Cause: It is important to notice this symptom as it is often associated with serious root and soil disorders. Early leaf drop can also indicate vascular diseases and boring insects.
sick tree entry and exit holes

Exit/Entry Holes:

Exit or Entry holes are small holes in the bark of your tree, typically round, oval, or d shaped.

Cause: These holes are a sign that your tree is infested with boring insects. One of the most common boring insects in our area right now is the Emerald Ash Borer, it attacks Ash trees and leaves a D-shaped exit hole (as shown in the picture).

Leaf Discoloration & Spots:Cercospora Leaf Spot On Rose

Leaf discoloration and spots refers to the overall browning and yellowing of leaves, and leaves with colored spots.

Cause: Spots and discoloration can be indicators of many issues including drought, disease, insects, and root issues.

If you see these common symptoms on your tree you should contact a certified arborist immediately to diagnose and treat the issue.

What To Not Be Concerned About:


Trees normally have a little lean to them.  The truck of a tree curves because of the tree’s ability to adapt overtime to the changing availability of sunlight. The tree’s root system will grow to accommodate this off center weight distribution.  However, if a tree suddenly begins to lean, starts leaning after a storm, if the soil around the tree is heaving, or if there are gaps in the soil near the stem of the tree the tree may be at risk of falling. Not sure if your leaning tree is dangerous? Check out our leaning tree video.

Beneficial Insects:

If you spot insects on your property such as bees, ladybugs, green lace wigs, or praying mantis you don’t need to worry. These bugs are what we call beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are species that perform valued services like pollination and pest control. These insects will police your landscape and keep harmful insects that want to hurt your trees and shrubs in check.

If after reading this you’ve determined your tree is sick learn more about our sick tree treatments & programs or book a consultation with one of our Certified Arborists.  

sick tree canopy protection programCanopy Protection Program
Total Tree & Shrub Protection
sick tree beneficial insect treatmentBeneficial Insect Release Program
Protect Your Property The Natural Way
multi vitamin for a sick treeMulti-Vitamin Program
For Overall Health
sick tree emerald ash borer programEmerald Ash Borer Program
Protect Against Emerald Ash Borers
consultation with a certified arborist Set Up A Consultation
With A Certified Arborist
winter protection programWinter Protection Program
Protect Against Drought & Winter Stress