Whether large or small, trees make a wonderful addition to almost any size garden. Their majesty provides structure, a point of interest that the rest of the garden can be designed around. They can provide welcome shade and screening for your home, gift you with flowers and autumn colour, and even provide food and shelter for local wildlife and insects.
But as many owners of large trees may tell you, they can also be a source of continual worry, particularly if their all-too-crooked limbs stretch out over your home. Even healthy trees can drop branches without warning, mainly due to wind and storm events. A regular program of pruning, however, can keep all your trees in good health as well as reducing these types of dangers.
Of course, spotting a potential tree problem is not always an easy task, but there are a number of tell-tale signs to keep an eye out for which may signal your tree is in poor health.
The most important tip to remember is to pay attention to the trees around you. If you do this regularly then you will more than likely notice any subtle changes that may occur over time. It’s really not all that different from the struggling shrub in your garden bed, except it’s up high, of course; this is where a pair of binoculars come in handy, to keep an eye on things.
So, what are the signs? A distinct lack of vigour is the clearest sign a tree is in a bad way. Limp-looking, disfigured or discoloured leaves, dead branches and excessive leaf and branch drop can all be signs of an underlying problem. Pests and diseases in particular will target an ailing tree, so maintaining good tree health is your best defence of all.
If your tree does happen to develop a problem it may not always be the end. Many issues caught early enough can be dealt with in relative ease by a certified arborist. And in most cases, removing the problem as soon as it is found is a much better option than having to remove the whole tree later on.
Look after your trees and they’ll be around for generations to come.
Julian Parry is a Director of Arbor Pride