When moving into a new home or business facility, you may consider the trees you find on the property to be a selling point. But you’ll also want to evaluate the health and sustainability of the trees. After all, a tree that may need removal soon could represent a drain on your finances rather than an asset. So make sure the trees are healthy and well-cared-for, if possible.

Here are some red flags that can alert you to neglect in your new tree’s recent past.

1. Visible Growth Encroaching on a Structure

The previous owner may have been tempted to plant a landscape tree relatively near to the house, driveway, or garage, with the intention of keeping the tree trimmed to the correct size. If you find a tree on the property that’s rubbing its branches against the roof of a building, it can mean the tree hasn’t been correctly trimmed on a regular basis after the installation.

A tree’s visible growth too close to a building can raise a concern for what its roots may be doing below ground. If possible, ask the seller of your new property about any tree root barriers that may exist to protect the home’s foundation.

2. Growth Pattern Is Lopsided

Uncontrolled growth can sometimes lead to structural problems. If the tree seems to be leaning to one side in an asymmetrical growth pattern, it clearly hasn’t been kept trimmed into a balanced, healthy shape. So take a look at the tree’s symmetry and the strength and orderliness of its branches to help you discern whether it’s been well-cared for.

3. Tree Has a Lot of Suckers

Suckers are healthy-looking stems that typically grow straight up either from the base or trunk of the tree or along larger branches. However, despite their healthy appearance, they’re not considered healthy for the tree, and experts recommend removing them.

If your new tree has a lot of suckers, that’s typically a sign of damage or shock. One common reason for lots of suckers is when a tree has been neglected long-term and is then trimmed back in one extreme pruning job. The tree senses the loss of so much growth simultaneously as a threat and puts out lots of suckers to compensate for the damage.

4. Tree Shows Signs of Stress

Many different categories of disease can attack landscaping shrubs and trees. Bacterial, fungal, and even viral diseases can all cause a tree to exhibit symptoms of poor health. However, common symptoms such as discolored leaves can also be a sign of stress due to physical damage or some other issue that’s causing stress to the tree.

Although it’s not always the cause, some form of neglect could allow issues like disease and pests to worsen and cause extra stress to the tree.

5. Some Branches Have Died or Fallen

A tree can drop a branch or experience branch die-off for a number of reasons. One dead or fallen branch doesn’t necessarily mean the tree is dying or seriously ill. However, if the tree has multiple dead or fallen branches, a larger issue could be present, such as a canker that’s started to kill off branches.

In addition, if the tree has any significant dead or fallen branches that haven’t been removed, that can be a sign that the tree’s owners haven’t been on top of tree care lately.

If well-kept, a landscape tree can provide a beautiful counterpoint to your home or business facility. However, even if the tree shows signs of neglect, stress, or disease, it may not be a lost cause. Consult with a tree care professional to see what can be done to restore the tree to health.

Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc., can provide a variety of tree services such as fertilizing and pruning to get your tree back into shape and then keep it healthy, well-balanced, and growing well. For more information, give us a call today to discuss your landscape tree’s needs.