There are a number of factors to pay attention to if you are trying to determine if your trees are healthy or if they are on their way out. Take note of the following key indicators and Southeastern Growers assures you that your understanding of trees and the ecosystem that is located in your own private yard will expand tremendously.
Leader Of The Pack
Most trees, especially ones that are regularly used in landscaping, have one central trunk (the “central leader”). Trees should be pruned so the central leader can provide the entire tree with strength and stability. Failing to do this may cause the tree to split.
New growth should occur on both the trunk and branches of a healthy tree. You can measure annual growth by noting the distance between this year’s current buds and the scars from last year’s buds. Average growth varies depending on the tree, so a little research is necessary.
As soon as you notice dead or broken branches, they should be pruned away. If you do not do this, insects and diseases are more likely to infest the tree and cause irreparable damage. You can tell a branch is dead if you scrape it with your fingernail and the exposed bark is dry, brown, and brittle. A healthy branch would show green underneath. Also, a healthy branch is supple and can bend easily. If you can easily snap the branch, it is dead.
Typically, bark should not be loose or peeling off of the trunk of your tree (with the exception of some trees like birches, eucalyptus, and maples). Also, fungi should not be growing on the tree. When using tools and gardening equipment around trees, be careful as to not leave any wounds in the trunk where insects and diseases will attack. There should also be no large cracks or holes anywhere.