Feb 26, 2022
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How to save a tree from dying

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It is possible to save a dying tree, but it requires experience, care, and foresight. Many environmental factors can lead to a tree's decline in health, the most common being disease, and insect damage. Although a trained arborist can save trees from further decay, natural causes and human mistakes can…


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It is possible to save a dying tree, but it requires experience, care, and foresight. Many environmental factors can lead to a tree’s decline in health, the most common being disease, and insect damage. Although a trained arborist can save trees from further decay, natural causes and human mistakes can negatively impact their lifespan.

Finding the right arborist to help save a dying tree is crucial. They will be able to create a plan based on years of experience and understand the causes of the tree’s decline. The problem must first be identified before any action can be taken. Although there is not always a solution for a tree in danger, it may be possible to fix the problem before the damage becomes permanent. Contender’s experts are experts in tree science and can help you save dying trees and shrubs.

How to identify a sick tree

If you notice signs of decay, a sick or dying tree can often be saved. While your Contender’s technician will monitor the health of your landscape, it is your responsibility as the homeowner to look out for signs of illness. Black spots on leaves, early leaf drops, curling leaves, and peeling bark are signs of decay or distress. While the average homeowner won’t always know if a tree has died or can be saved, it is essential to regularly inspect your trees and shrubs to identify any potential problems. These can be passed to your technician over the telephone so that your account can be recorded for the arborist’s next visit.

Once you notice signs of distress, a certified arborist at Contender’s Tree & Lawn Specialists can determine if they can save the tree or shrub. A trunk injection service or a foliar spray may be necessary. While you might not heal a dying tree by yourself, it is possible to work with your technician to identify problems before they become irreversible.

There are several ways to tell if your tree has health problems:

  • The leaves still on the trees may be dry, curled, or brown.
  • Cracks can be found on the trunk, or wood may appear brittle in some areas.
  • The unusual bent position of the tree indicates weakness in its roots.
  • There are prominent areas of decay, particularly around the trunk and branches.
  • On branches, you will see a greenish-mossy buildup.

A Solution to a Dying Tree

After identifying the problem, an arborist technician certified in tree and shrub preservation can help you save it. A single tree’s health can significantly impact your yard’s overall environment. This type of tree expert can help you develop a plan for restoring the tree’s health.

While any of these problems can lead to the tree’s initial decline, it is not always the sole reason. These environmental stresses can cause a negative domino effect. A lack of water or root competition can weaken the tree, which makes it a perfect host for fungal diseases and insect infestations. While some of these can be fatal, others are more serious. Contender’s Tree and Lawn Specialists can treat all of the resulting problems so that your tree’s health and vitality can be restored and maintained each year.

Here are some reasons trees may be unhealthy:

Drainage Problems

Too little or too much water can significantly impact your tree’s health. To prevent your tree from becoming too dry, it is essential to have a drainage area around the dying tree. The tree can be watered with a hose at high pressure for approximately 1-2 minutes. This will not drown out its root system. You may need different amounts of water for other trees at different times of the year. Consult your arborist to learn more.


Mulching can help nourish soil around trees, but improperly applied mulch can cause damage to the tree’s health. Mulch around the tree’s base can make it harder for roots to breathe. The mulch should be at least five inches deep and in direct contact with the tree’s roots. This will help to prevent fungal diseases and restore a tree’s health. How a tree was planted can have a significant impact on its health. Too many trees may be produced in one location, leading to root competition and choked-out trees with established roots. The tree may have recently been transplanted. This can cause rapid decline, which is commonly known as transplant shock.


A dying tree can suffer from too much fertilizer or not enough. Organic fertilizers can keep the soil around a tree loose and allow the root system to breathe. This will give your tree the additional nourishment it requires. Deep root fertilization is a customized blend of essential nutrients, and organic marine kelp injected directly into the roots of sick trees. This will restore their vitality over time. Ask your arborist whether this treatment is appropriate for your tree.


Each situation is unique, but specific pruning techniques can be used, depending on the tree’s type and other issues. An arborist or tree expert can advise you on the best pruning techniques for your particular landscape. Contender’s technicians will often provide in-service reports, which are emailed to customers after the service is completed. Proper communication is crucial when dealing with such vital matters as declining trees. Arborists often recommend removing any diseased branches to stop the disease from spreading. It is essential to use the right tools for pruning, such as a saw and sanitized scissors. It is necessary to clean shears when you prune different trees or shrubs because it can spread fungal diseases from one tree to another. You should also properly dispose of infected branches. Many fungal infections can spread from trees to lawns, creating ugly brown spots in the turf.

It is essential to save your dying tree.

One of the most important reasons to save a dying tree is because healthy trees are good for the environment. A well-maintained yard will add value to your home as well as beautify your neighborhood. A tree healthcare company must see how homeowners can become attached to trees and shrubs. They should also share the same goal to save the tree. Arborists must see the “why” behind maintaining landscape health. If a homeowner has a beautiful tree they have enjoyed for over 30 years and suddenly notices it is declining, panic can set in. A good arborist will understand this and offer support.

The trees also offer protection from the sun and wind. It is essential to know the difference between having lunch on your back deck under shaded trees and being forced to endure the scorching sun. Shade around your home can help prevent the sun from changing the color of your aluminum siding or paint. You don’t always think about the small things until you have lost the tree.

Receive a free consultation about how to save a dying forest tree

Contender’s experts are frequently asked how to save trees from death. Even if your tree has been negatively affected by insects, wind, poor weather conditions, water problems, etc., we can still help. First, schedule a consultation with a certified arborist on the Contender’s team. They can identify potential sick or declining trees and offer a free estimate and onsite assessment.

Our experts are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). This certification lets clients know that they have a lot of knowledge in caring for and maintaining trees and shrubs. This expertise can save your tree. Call Contenders to find out more about our services and how to improve the health of your property.

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