15 Telltale Signs You Need To Hire An Arborist

Trees add beauty and value to your property but require expert care to remain healthy and safe. While homeowners can often handle routine maintenance, there are situations when professional assistance is necessary.

With that in mind, this article will delve into the key signs that signal the need for an arborist’s intervention, empowering you to act swiftly to preserve the health of your trees and your property’s safety. Continue reading to learn more.

1. Substantial Damage To The Tree Trunk

Substantial Damage To The Tree Trunk

When a tree’s trunk is compromised, it is a glaring indication that professional help is needed. Signs like deep cracks, large wounds, and missing bark can suggest internal decay.

A healthy trunk is essential for a tree’s stability; damage here can pose a significant risk, especially during severe weather. An arborist can assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action.

2. Fungal Growth

Fungi, such as mushrooms, growing at the base of a tree or on the trunk are often signs of internal rot and decay.

While some fungi are harmless, others can be symptomatic of serious health issues within the tree. An arborist has the expertise to diagnose the problem and suggest solutions to manage the tree’s health.

3. Pest Infestation

Insects and pests can wreak havoc on trees, often going unnoticed until significant damage is done. Common culprits include bark beetles, termites, and caterpillars, each capable of causing extensive harm. An arborist can identify the type of pest infestation and implement an appropriate treatment plan.

4. Dead Or Hanging Branches

Dead Or Hanging Branches  

Dead or loosely hanging branches are hazardous, mainly if they are large and above high-traffic areas. These branches can fall without warning, causing injury or property damage. Arborists have the skills to remove these branches and mitigate potential dangers safely.

5. Leaning Trees

While some trees naturally grow at an angle, a sudden lean indicates instability and could be a sign of root damage or soil erosion. An arborist can evaluate the situation to determine if the tree can be saved or needs to be removed for safety.

6. Dense Canopy

A tree with a dense canopy can block sunlight and inhibit airflow to the branches and leaves beneath, potentially leading to disease and weak growth.

Thinning the canopy allows light and air to penetrate, promoting a healthier and more robust tree. An arborist will know how to thin the canopy effectively without damaging the tree.

7. Root Problems

arborist Root Problems

Tree roots are out of sight and often out of mind, yet they are critical to a tree’s health and stability. Symptoms of root problems can include visible root decay, heaving soil, or nearby construction that may have severed roots. An arborist can assess root health and provide solutions to prevent further damage.

8. Poor Tree Growth

If a tree is not growing as expected or shows signs of stunted growth, it could suffer from nutrient deficiencies, inadequate water supply, or other environmental stresses. An arborist can conduct soil tests and evaluate the tree’s conditions to recommend treatments that promote healthy growth.

9. Unusual Leaf Discoloration Or Loss

Leaves that change color out of season or fall off when they should be flourishing are telltale signs that a tree is in distress.

This could be due to various factors, such as disease, poor soil conditions, or improper watering. An arborist can pinpoint the cause and suggest corrective measures.

10. Crossing Or Rubbing Branches

Branches that cross or rub

Branches that cross or rub against each other create wounds and open the door to infections and pests. Over time, these abrasions can significantly weaken branches, leading to breakage. An arborist can selectively prune these branches to prevent damage and encourage a more stable growth pattern.

11. Tree Has Never Been Pruned

A tree that has never been pruned can become structurally unsound. Without proper pruning, trees can develop weak crotches or points where branches are likely to split from the trunk. An arborist can provide corrective pruning to improve the tree’s structure and longevity.

12. Visible Cavities In The Tree

Cavities in a tree trunk or branches can indicate decay and compromise the tree’s structural integrity. These cavities may not always be visible from the ground, but an arborist can inspect the tree thoroughly to identify any hidden problems and recommend remedial actions.

13. Storm Damage

Telltale Signs You Need To Hire An Arborist

Severe weather can cause immediate and noticeable damage to trees, leaving broken branches, split trunks, and even uprooted trees. In the aftermath of a storm, a professional arborist can assess the damage, safely remove debris, and determine the best way to care for the affected trees.

14. Tree Shows Signs Of Over Or Under-Watering

Proper watering is crucial for a tree’s survival, but signs of over or under-watering can be subtle. Symptoms such as wilting leaves or overly saturated soil may indicate watering issues. An arborist can advise on the optimal watering schedule and techniques for your trees and conditions.

15. Conflicts With Infrastructure

Trees that grow too close to power lines, buildings, or other structures can pose serious risks. An arborist can help navigate these conflicts, whether it requires pruning, cabling, or, in some cases, removal of the tree to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.


Trees stand as living landmarks in gardens and communities but can also present challenges that require professional care. By paying attention to these telltale signs, homeowners can take proactive steps to ensure their trees remain healthy, stable, and beautiful for years to come.

Don’t wait for minor issues to become major problems—hiring an arborist can be a wise investment in the longevity and safety of your green assets.

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