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Top Tips for Healthy Trees

Here are some tips that will enable you to carry out a quick health check of your trees. Starting at the base of the tree your inspection should go as follows.

Is there any damage around the base of the tree, look particularly for cavities or holes, exposed roots that are maybe being damaged. Are any of the roots beginning to lift on one side?

Is there any fungus or decay, some species of fungus will only appear in late summer / autumn, around the base of the tree or the stem?

Are there any wounds or cavities in the main stem?

Are there any areas of dead bark or exposed inner wood where the bark has been damaged?

Are there any hanging branches in the canopy, look carefully for any split limbs or dead and decaying branches. Look for decay at any points of previous surgery or limb removal. Do any of the branches cross each other or rub on each other in the wind?

Are the leaves in good health? Look for branches lacking foliage or with a colour that does not match the rest of the tree. Look at the tips of the canopy for branches lacking leaves as this can indicate root problems.

Is the whole tree balanced in form or is it leaning to one side? Often trees can be shaped to bring back a symmetrical form.

If you suffer with light conditions at ground level due to shade cast by a tree, or if a tree if too large for your garden, tree surgery such as crown thinning can help with this problem. Tree thinning can also be carried out to improve its proportion to suit areas within your garden.