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So just what is a diseased tree? At Greenleaf Tree & Property Services we’ve seen a few trees in a bad state over the years, believe us! A diseased tree is one that shows signs of illness due to any number of environmental factors. Deficiencies such as nutrient imbalances, insect infestations, fungal infections, and physical damage can all cause a diseased tree. Understanding how to identify a diseased tree is the first step to ensuring its health in the long term.

Though symptoms vary depending on the underlying cause of infection, some common warning signs are yellowing leaves, damage to the bark or branch tips, and wilting foliage. It’s also important to note if the tree has any unusual patches of wood or discoloured areas in it; this may point towards an infectious fungus or invasive insect species.

Additionally, discerning abnormal fruiting patterns can be indicative of a problem. For example, if an otherwise healthy plum tree consistently produces tiny plums or fruits with blemishes, this hints at nutritional deficiencies within the soil which must be addressed immediately.

Other telltale signs include premature leaf drop during summertime or spots of different colouration on bark or branches; If several of these points are taken into account together, then it’s likely time for a professional tree surgeon like us to take measurements and diagnose what course of action should be taken next with respect to treatment options and pruning methods.

Making sure that your trees stay healthy requires accurate identification and timely action no matter what kind they are; by following these steps carefully you can rest assured knowing that yours won’t succumb to any badly timed disease outbreaks in their later years.

Signs to look for to identify a tree suffering disease?

Here is a short list of tree disease symptoms to look for in our experience.

Fungal Growth

If you notice a white or yellow coating on the bark of the tree, it could be a sign of fungal growth. This is usually indicative of disease and can cause the tree to become weak and unstable over time.

Unusual Bark Colouration

Healthy trees will usually have a uniform bark colour throughout their trunk and branches. If you spot any unusual discolourations, such as patches of red or brown, this could be an indication that the tree is diseased.

Yellow Leaves

Sick trees will often produce yellow leaves instead of their usual green hue. This can be a sign that the tree is not getting enough nutrients from its soil or has been affected by pests or diseases.

Dead Branches

Diseased trees may have dead branches scattered among its healthy ones. These dead branches are often brittle and easily break away from the tree when touched, indicating that they are no longer alive and healthy.

Poorly Developed Roots

Trees that are suffering from disease may have poorly developed roots due to a lack of nutrients in their soil or water supply, making them more susceptible to falling over in strong winds or heavy rainstorms.


Cankers are oval-shaped lesions found on the trunk and branches of trees which can indicate infection caused by fungi, bacteria or nematodes (roundworms). These lesions can weaken the structural integrity of the tree if left untreated for too long so it’s important to keep an eye out for them if you suspect your tree might be diseased.

Drooping Leaves

Diseased trees may have drooping leaves which don’t stand up straight as healthy ones do. This is usually caused by a lack of water due to root damage or nutrient deficiencies in their soil supply.

Unusual Odours

A sick tree may emit strange odours due to fungus growing inside its trunk or branches; if you detect any strange smells coming from your tree, it’s best to call a tree surgeon immediately as this could indicate serious issues with your plant’s health which need addressing right away before they become worse.

What do I do if I find a diseased tree in my garden?

You can find out more about possible options in this extensive article about the reasons to remove a diseased tree.


To identify a diseased tree, look for signs of infection such as fungal growth on the bark, yellow leaves, dead branches, cankers and drooping leaves. Unusual odours may also indicate that the tree is sick. If you find a diseased tree in your garden, contact a tree surgeon such as Greenleaf immediately to assess the damage and determine the best course of action. Taking prompt action is essential to ensuring that the tree doesn’t die or pose a danger to your property or neighbors. If you have any doubts about disease tree felling or tree pruning to head off disease the contact us for expert advice on any possible tree disease situation.