Help Us Help Your Tree

Director of Programs Position
5.27.22

Help Us Help Your Tree

By: Kate Bolkin

We love answering tree questions.  It makes us so happy that so many people care deeply about the health of our amazing tree canopy.  But for us to help you, we need you to help us!  Just like a doctor needs to know details about your health, daily habits, and medical history before they can diagnose you, our arborists need to know as much info as possible about the tree in order to give an accurate assessment. 

For example, telling an arborist, “there are brown spots on my tree’s leaves” makes it nearly impossible for us to tell you what’s wrong because some possible causes of brown spots on leaves could be:

  1. Soil dryness
  2. Frost damage
  3. Chemical spray injury
  4. Fungal infection
  5. Bacterial infection
  6. Insect damage
  7. Sunscald

So, help us help you by giving as much information you can.  Here are some helpful things to know about your tree:

  • What kind of tree is it?
    • If you aren’t sure, try using a plant ID app like PictureThis or iNaturalist.
  • When was it planted?
    • Estimates are fine it if was a long time ago.
  • What is the issue you’re seeing and where on the tree is it happening?
  • When did you first notice this problem?
  • Has it gotten worse over time?
  • What does your care look like?
    • How often do you water it? Have you ever fertilized it? Have you used any pesticides?
  • Where is the tree located and what are the site conditions like? Were there any changes to the area around the tree?

If you are sending in photos of your tree to get it assessed, here’s what they should consist of:

  • Clear photos of the whole tree from different angles
  • Close-up photos of the problem areas
  • Photos of where the tree is located
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