To know when a tree is sick, you have to know how to identify a healthy tree!  Let's take a look at six indicators of a healthy tree.

If your tree has more than one central leader, it may eventually split.  Split trees leave a “wound,” allowing for insects or diseases to take up residence in your beautiful tree.

One Central Leader

Healthy trees produce new growth every year. This new growth should occur on both the trunk and branches.  You can inspect progress yearly by observing the distance between the current season’s buds and last year’s buds.

Observable Yearly Growth

Dead or broken branches need to be pruned yearly, as soon as they appear.  Leaving dead branches invites insects and diseases to overtake your tree.

Living Branches

A nick or gouge to the trunk can leave a wound open for insects and/or disease to take over.  If your tree has substantial cracks or holes, cover them with a tree guard.

Healthy Bark and Trunk

Pay attention to these areas, as they can be indicative of: lack of nutrients, lack of water, animal damage, poor pruning, pesticide damage, insect infiltration, or disease.

Full, No Bare Patches

Leaves are a great indicator of tree health. Leaves should be the correct color for the season. In evergreens this means year-round green needles. For deciduous trees this involves green leaves in spring and summer, and yellow, orange, or red in autumn.

Healthy Leaf Characteristics

Warning signs of insect infiltration or disease can include: visible insects, fruit trees lacking fruit or flowers, leaf distortion, holes in bark, irregular growth on the branches, and oozing sap on evergreens.

Recognizing Disease

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