Rivendell Tree Experts

Diagnosing Tree Disease: 4 Warning Signs of a Problem


Tree disease can devastate your landscape but, if you catch the problem early on, you stand a much better chance of stopping the bacterial, viral or fungal infection from damaging or killing off your much-loved trees. If you’re not sure how to spot a diseased tree, you’re not alone. We suggest you take a close look at your trees whenever you’re working in the yard. Scan the leaves, branches and bark for irregularities and, as you perform your inspection, watch for the following warning signs. If you do notice a problem, contact a Utah certified arborist for help with tree disease treatment.

No. 1: Differences in the Foliage

Look up at the tree canopy. Do you see a difference in the coloration of the foliage or leaves dropping – and it isn’t the right season? Or are any of the leaves sporting holes or malformations? The state of the foliage is a good indicator of overall health. Early leaf drop, color changes and damaged leaves are all potential signs of tree disease.

No. 2: Dead or Dying Branches

Check for dead branches – if you see any limbs that look dry and lifeless, seek out prompt disease treatment. Dying branches may also point to a problem, but since decay occurs from the inside out, failing limbs aren’t easy to identify. So, look for other symptoms of decay, including mushroom growth and crumbly wood.

No. 3: Uneven Growth

Has one of your trees developed a significant lean? Or do you notice any branches growing close together? A lopsided growth pattern can mean tree disease treatment is necessary. And, with poorly-structured limbs, weakening in the branch unions makes disease a more likely problem.

No. 4: Visible Changes in the Bark

When tree disease sets in, the effects can often be seen in the bark. Bacterial, viral and fungal infections weaken the bark, which results in discolorations. As time goes on, disease can create deep splits and cracks. Cankers, or dead areas of bark on the branches or trunk, are also possible signs of disease.

Which Tree Disease is the Problem?

To the untrained eye, disease can be difficult enough to spot – and with the dozens of diseases that are common in northern Utah, diagnosing the particular problem is even more of a challenge. Guess wrong, and any treatment you try will likely fail. Worse, applying the wrong treatment could even kill the tree. For that reason, tree disease treatment should be left to a certified arborist, like the team at Rivendell Tree Experts. Our professionals can perform a full assessment to figure out which bacterial, viral or fungal infection is the problem. Once we have a diagnosis, we can provide a range of effective treatment options. In addition, since healthy trees are better able to resist disease, our certified arborists will provide proactive tips to help prevent future issues on your northern Utah property. For more information on Rivendell Tree Experts, or to schedule a free, no-obligation tree disease treatment consultation, contact our Lehi office today