Rick's Tree Service Blog

How to Tell if a Tree is Sick

Trees are living organisms and as such, fall prey to disease and insect attack. If treated early, most trees can recover from these ailments.

Careful observation can give homeowners the information they need to keep landscape trees healthy. Early treatment is the best way to ensure the recovery of a sick tree.

Deciduous Trees
A good way to determine if a deciduous tree is sick is to monitor the leaves. Leaves produce the tree’s food and should be deep green, large and firmly attached to the stalk.

Leaves which are stunted in growth, yellow or off-color and exhibit early drop all indicate the tree is experiencing some illness. Curled or deformed leaves and ones with obvious insect attack are two more signs of problems.

Clues about the tree’s health can also come from the trunk. Insect bore holes, rodent teeth marks near the base and dark, oozing patches indicate trouble. Homeowners should keep an eye on sections of the trunk where the tree lost a branch.

This is the perfect place for fungus and rot to creep in and destroy the tree from the inside out. Also, if a tree has become the favorite feeding ground of woodpeckers, there is probably an insect infestation under the bark.

Coniferous Trees
Coniferous, or evergreen, trees should appear healthy, full and green all year. Most evergreens don’t exhibit signs of illness for several years after an initial attack, so homeowners must be extra diligent monitoring these trees.

Evergreens with rust-colored needles, tips of branches where there are no needles and dead crowns are clues of serious issues.

The bark of a conifer should be intact and have few spots where pitch is apparent. Holes in the bark and ample quantities of pitch are indicators of insect attack.

Although trees are susceptible to many diseases and bugs which can cause illness, the good news is most trees respond well to treatment. Mature landscape trees are expensive to replace.

With a little preventive observation, homeowners can protect the health of their trees. Considering the time it takes for a tree to reach mature height, this is a worthy investment.

Have an Emergency? Call 215-508-7553

Our outstanding 24-hour live customer service is ready to take your call at any time and dispatch crews to resolve your problem before it becomes a disaster.

Special Offer

FREE Tree Safety Evaluation

Free consultation regarding the health and safety of all of your trees. We will check for decay, disease, and stability issues that you might be overlooking.


Not to be combined with any other offers. Present this offer when you call or email for your free estimate.

Special Offer

Signing Discount $150 Off

$150 OFF any job over $1,000 when you sign on the same day as your estimate is given.


Not to be combined with any other offers. Present this offer when you call or email for your free estimate.