10 Signs of a Sick Tree

If you suspect that one of your trees is sick or damaged, check to see if it displays any of the following indicators of a tree in trouble:

  • Cracks in the trunk or major limbs
  • Hollow or decayed areas
  • Wilted or discolored leaves
  • Insect damage
  • Dead branches
  • Man-made wounds
  • Emerald Ash Borer (I have seen a lot of this in Northern Ohio)
  • Secluded Bark
  • Mushroom-type fungi growing at the base of the tree
  • Excess sprouting on trunk


Signs & Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer:

  • Excess sprouting on trunk
  • Crown dieback
  • Bark splitting
  • S-shaped larval tunnels
  • D-shaped exit holes 1/8″ in diameter
  • Increased woodpecker activity
  • Adult beetles are 1/2″ long
  • Larvae under the bark

Even if the tree can be saved, it’s important to prune dead, diseased or damaged branches promptly. Not only can diseased branches cause further problems with the tree, a large falling branch can cause considerable damage in its own right.