How to tell if your tree is diseased

Are you concerned that a tree on your land is diseased? If so, it’s important to act right away. 

Not only are diseased trees unsafe because they may fall but they can also spread the pathogens to other trees. You’ll need to hire an experienced tree surgeon Maldon to assess the health of your tree. Read on to find out how to tell if your tree is diseased and what you should do about it. 


6 signs of tree disease


When trees are sick, they display various symptoms, ranging from discoloured leaves to dead branches and bark abnormalities. Diseases such as Dutch elm disease (DED), Acute oak decline (AOD), and Sweet chestnut blight can all leave their marks on trees, in many cases causing them to die. Keep reading to discover the most common signs that a tree is diseased.


● Leaf discolouration or blight. If your tree has discoloured blotches on its leaves, especially at a time of year when they should appear healthy, this is a sign that it isn’t in the best of health.

● A lack of foliage. This is one of the most common signs that a tree is under stress. If your tree has no healthy leaves left during a growing season, you should have a tree surgeon inspect it. If your tree is losing its leaves at the wrong time of year, this could be a warning signal of disease.

● Bark abnormalities. Missing bark is a common sign that a tree is sick. This is because new bark won’t grow in dying trees. There may also be vertical cracks on the trunk, with splits extending deep into the wood. 

● Dead branches. Whilst a couple of dead branches doesn’t necessarily mean your tree is dying, too many of them is a warning sign that it isn’t in good health. Since trees tend to decay from the inside out, the presence of rotting wood can be a big red flag. Dead branches will appear dry and will break easily.

● Leaning trunk. If your tree is leaning, it could be a sign of serious damage and be at risk of falling. If the trunk is leaning 30 degrees or more, it may well need to be removed. 

● Fungus growth. Fungus growing at the base of the tree is a sign of decay. Whilst some fungi can be beneficial to trees, others can cause significant damage. As the decay spreads further, structural problems can occur, making the tree unsafe and raising the risk of injury.


If you notice that your tree is showing any of these symptoms, it’s best to have it inspected by a tree surgeon. This will allow it to be correctly diagnosed and, if possible, treated. In some cases, the tree may need to be removed if it’s at risk of falling or likely to spread disease to neighbouring trees. 


To hire a tree surgeon in Maldon, contact Essex Tree Brothers. Call us on (01245) 955 117 or (01621) 484306 or send us a message via our website.

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