Trees, even mature ones, suffer from stress just like other living organisms. Diseases, physical injuries, and nutrient deficiencies are some of the things that can stress a tree. When that happens, the tree becomes weak and becomes even more susceptible to further diseases. Here are some of the telltale signs of a stressed tree that you should know:
Falling Tree Leaves
Tree leaves that fall out of season are some of the first signs of stress in trees. Premature leaf fall is usually a sign that the tree isn't getting adequate water or nutrients. Trees lose water through their leaves and the more leaves there are the more water a tree loses. Therefore, a water deficient tree may lose some of its leaves to conserve water.
Stress may also cause tree leaves to lose their original color instead of falling off. This usually happens if a tree is sick or if it isn't getting all nutrients it needs to be healthy. For example, if your trees are attacked with anthracnose, their leaves will turn brown and blotchy.
All forms of stress affect the growth of trees. In fact, all parts of the tree may be affected including the roots, leaves, branches and even the main trunk. Therefore, if you planted several trees at the same time and one of them seems to be growing at a slower rate than others, it is a clear sign that it is stressed.
Sprouting From the Main Trunk or Limbs
All living things have self-preservation hardwired in their DNAs. This is why living things, including trees, go to great lengths to avoid dying prematurely. One way in which trees do this is to sprout new branches or leaves at the main trunk or limbs if its canopy is dealing with extreme stress. Therefore, if a tree seems to be sprouting new leaves from these places, it's time to diagnose what's stressing it.
Drying Branches or Canopy
Lastly, you should also suspect that your tree is stressed if it seems to be drying in different parts such as the canopy or different branches. The drying usually starts from the parts of the tree that aren't getting adequate resources or those that were attacked first by a disease.
If you suspect that one of your trees is stressed, call a professional arborist, such as from The Tree Lady Company, to diagnose the cause of the stress and advise you on how to save the tree. Hopefully, the intervention measures will suffice and you will not have to remove the affected tree.