4 Common Tree Problems and How Arborist Services Can Help

Trees are essential to our natural environment, providing us with shade, clean air, and a sense of tranquility. They can live on to be hundreds of years old with the proper care and ongoing maintenance. However, like any living organism, trees can encounter various issues affecting their health and overall well-being.

In this blog, we’ll explore some common tree problems that homeowners and property managers often encounter. Additionally, we’ll discuss how professional arborist services can help diagnose, treat, and prevent these problems, assuring your tree’s longevity and lasting beauty.

1. Diseases and Infections

The unfortunate truth about trees is that they’re susceptible to diseases and infections, which can weaken their structure and compromise their ability to thrive. In the worst cases, when the condition expands due to inadequate remedial care, trees die and must be removed.

Some common tree diseases include:

  • Apple Scab
  • Ash Anthracnose
  • Beech Bark Disease
  • Black Knot
  • Cankers
  • Cytospora Canker of Spruce
  • Dutch Elm Disease
  • Eastern Filbert Blight
  • …and more

How Arborist Services Can Help

Arborists are qualified experts who specialize in tree care and management. When it comes to tree diseases and infections, they can help in the following areas:

Disease Isolation and Diagnosis

Because of an arborist's in-depth knowledge of tree diseases, they can accurately identify the specific issue or ailment affecting trees. They can even uncover underlying problems that have yet to surface.

Treatment Plans

Once the disease is diagnosed, the arborist will develop a customized treatment plan to mitigate the problem. Depending on the condition and its stage, the treatment may involve pruning infected branches, applying fungicides or antibiotics, or implementing other appropriate, proven-effective therapies.

Preventive Measures

A reputable arborist will also recommend preventative measures to protect surrounding healthy trees from contracting diseases and infections. Recommendations will vary but may include regular tree inspections, proper pruning techniques, and maintaining overall tree health through good nutrition and watering.

2. Pest Infestations

While pests serve their unique purposes in our local ecosystems, they pose a significant threat to the health of trees, as they can weaken the tree's immune system and cause extensive damage. Among common tree health issues, pest infestation is among the most common and, in many cases, the most threatening.

Some common tree pests in the local area include:

  • Asian Longhorned Beetle
  • Birch Leafminer
  • Carpenter Ant
  • Eastern Tent Caterpillar
  • Elm Bark Beetle
  • Fall Cankerworm
  • Spongy Moth
  • Scales
  • Termites
  • …and many more

How Arborist Services Can Help

Arborists are well-versed in pest management strategies and can assist in the following areas:

Identification and Assessment

An arborist must identify the pest species before starting a treatment plan. They’ll also assess the degree of infestation to help determine the most effective treatment plan that eradicates the issue, prevents it from recurring, and doesn't harm the tree further.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

A qualified arborist will employ effective IPM techniques to address the infestation promptly. They often combine biological, cultural, and chemical controls to manage pests effectively while minimizing environmental impact. You can expect the solutions to be insecticides or biological controls that start working immediately.

It's essential to partner with a licensed and reputable arborist for this type of tree care, as they’re responsible for ensuring that treatments are used safely and effectively, following industry standards and regulations.

3. Structural Problems and Hazards

Tree structural issues are destructive because they compromise the stability and safety of the tree. Damage and a lack of care can make a tree unstable, causing it to be more susceptible to falling or breaking during storms or strong winds.

Issues like these pose a risk of damage to property and vehicles and potential harm to people in the vicinity. When you notice structural issues eroding your tree, you need an arborist on your side.

Some common structural problems include:

  • Weak branch attachments
  • Cavities and decay
  • Root damage
  • …and more

How Arborist Services Can Help

Arborists excel in tree risk assessment and can address structural problems through:

Pruning and Crown Reduction

Arborists can prune and selectively remove weak branches to improve the tree's overall structure and reduce the risk of limb failure. They’ll recommend ongoing maintenance to prevent structural issues from recurring.

Bracing and Cabling

In cases where weak branch attachments are identified, a qualified arborist can install support systems such as braces and cables to provide additional stability and reduce the risk of branch failure.

Tree Removal

When a tree poses an immediate hazard or can’t be saved due to extensive decay or structural issues, arborists can safely remove the tree to eliminate the risk.

4. Soil Issues and Nutritional Deficiencies

Soil-related problems can impact a tree's ability to absorb nutrients, leading to deficiencies and overall health decline.

Some common soil issues include:

  • Compacted soil
  • Poor drainage

How Arborist Services Can Help

Arborists can address soil-related problems and nutritional deficiencies through the following methods:

Soil Testing and Analysis

Arborists can perform soil tests to assess its composition, pH levels, and nutrient content. A detailed analysis can identify any deficiencies or imbalances affecting the tree's health. The test will also determine if your tree issues are, in fact, due to soil and nutritional deficiencies.

Soil Aeration and Improvement

Compacted soil around trees must be aerated, promoting root growth and improving water infiltration and nutrient absorption. Additionally, an arborist may recommend organic amendments or fertilizers to enhance soil fertility.


Applying mulch around the base of trees might be necessary to improve moisture retention, regulate soil temperature, and infuse organic matter into the soil, promoting overall tree health.

Summary and Takeaways

Trees are valuable assets that require proper care and attention to thrive. By understanding common tree problems and seeking professional arborist services, you can ensure your trees' health, safety, and longevity. Whether diagnosing and treating diseases, managing pest infestations, or addressing structural concerns, arborists have the expertise and tools to keep your trees vibrant and beautiful.

If you found this blog useful and are looking for an arborist to care for your trees, don't hesitate to reach us at (613) 424-7331. Arboraxepert is a locally preferred tree doctor with extensive knowledge of all regional tree species.