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With many new suburbs lacking mature trees it sure is a lovely sight to see greenery around town. Here is a quick read on what to look for when caring for trees on your property or future property, from an expert in the field:

Overhanging or leaning trees

Some leaning is natural for trees as environmental conditions and sun act on the growth of the tree. Excessive leaning, or leaning over dwellings and utilities are cause for concern as trees carry a large amount of eccentric weight on the trunk and root system. exposure to an unusual force such as snow load or an unusual wind direction can cause failure of branches, rooting zone, and in rare cases the trunk.

Dead and dying leaves that remain attached to the branch

Dead and dried leaves that remain attached to branches are indicative of early leaf death that can be caused by pests or disease

Excessive dead branches to the amount of 1/3 the canopy size

The overall health of the tree can be seen by the health of the canopy, inclement weather under the chinook arch can cause premature death of branches, but can also be a sign of a larger problem with the health of the tree.

Excessive sap flow from trunk of tree

Sap flow or “bleeding” is caused by mechanical damage, disease, and pests. Sometimes the first signs or a significant injury to the tree can be the sap staining and flow coming from the injury itself.

Splitting, cracking, or holes in trunk or root flare

Root flare is the transition from the trunk of the tree to the main feeder roots. Things like frost cracking, sunscald, fungus and animals can cause significant damage to this important area of the tree. if damage if found and untreated it can threaten both the health and the stability of the tree.            

Ground and Rooting zone Condition

Adding landscape materials such as patio stones, deck, mulch, or soil, change the conditions of the root zone causing stress and root death of the tree. The health of a trees roots directly affects access to water and nutrients as well as the structural support that anchors the tree. Others problems that can be found as mushrooms, wet or soft soil, high compaction, and ground intrusion all cause root injury and death affecting health and stability of the tree.


Thank you to Sheldon Burton of Burton Forestry Ltd. for the above information. We highly recommend his forestry services to our clients who may be experiencing concern regarding trees on their property or future property.

Sheldon Burton
(403) 689-5633