Professional Evaluation /Consultation

Plant Health Care - Sick Trees (Diagnosis / Prognosis)

Hurricane Tree Specialists offers year round reliable professional evaluations and consultations, along with correct tree health diagnosis and prognosis, thus we can recommend and provide a proper treatment regimen to ensure optimal conditions for tree health and longevity.

The diagram shown here depicts healthy canopy growth (right side) in optimal soil conditions with that of the same tree growing in compacted soil conditions (left side) a very common problem in the urban environment. We can in many cases alleviate this problem through soil remediation techniques.

A dissection of a small stem reveals a bark inclusion this is also a very common problem with trees growing in developed areas in many cases this problem can be corrected through proper pruning.

A close examination of leaf tissue can often reveal certain problems in this case bacterial leaf scorch caused by Fusarium.

We know from experience that many of the trees that are lost each year due to over development, weather and human incompetence to name a few could be saved if only correct problem assessment and management were applied.

Construction Damage
Lightning Strike
Poor Planting Site

Diagnosing tree problems requires a combination of knowledge, experience and keen observation. Also laboratory analysis is sometimes needed.

Leaf Anatomy
Woody Trunk Anatomy

Most often it is not simply a case of identifying an insect or disease. If disease is suspected it is important to remember that there are three conditions necessary for development, a susceptible host the presence of a pathogen and environmental conditions favorable for the micro-organism to proliferate.

Woody Trunk Anatomy

Trees that die or are declining in the urban landscape are usually suffering from a combination of environmental and or man- made stress factors. Insects or diseases are often secondary, usually attacking the tree only after it has become weakened.

​​​It is important to remember that diagnosing tree problems can sometimes be difficult especially for the untrained person. This is due in part to the fact that in many cases tree diseases and disorders can cause symptoms that mimic other problems for example the symptoms of drought are very similar to those of over saturation.

Chronic water stress i.e drought
Flooded Conditions
Focusing on tree health is a far better strategy than the indiscriminate killing of insects in and around you’re trees and gardens. In fact many insects can be beneficial for instance helpful insects that are predators of harmful insects.

Some Examples of Beneficial Organisms

It takes some detective work to piece together all the clues. Often times the arborist is not called in until problems are well advanced, and so early detection and prevention are best.

One of the biggest challenges facing the arborist in diagnosing tree problems is the lack of available information. Obviously the tree cannot describe it’s symptoms and so it is up to the arborist to uncover the answers. The history of the tree and it’s environment is of utmost importance.

Tree problems and disorders can arise in many different ways, but there are two basic forms that is biotic (problems caused by a living organism ,i.e. fungus, bacterial infections, phytoplasmas), and abiotic (problems caused by a non-living agent i.e. bad weather, root damage caused by construction activities, soil compaction). There are many other examples besides these, but you get the idea.

If you have a tree that you are unsure about and are considering having it removed, we urge you to get a professional evaluation, as there are many so called tree experts out there who are completely unknowledgeable regarding the concepts of proper tree care (i.e. tree biology). These unscrupulous individuals are quick to recommend treatments, without first having a good understanding of the problem or problems that may be present and so prescription before diagnosis is malpractice. With field examinations we will look for existing, as well as potential problems and recommend the best treatments for each situation individually. If laboratory analysis is needed we can assist you in preparing and transporting tissue and soil samples.

You may be surprised to find out that what you thought was a serious condition, is only a simple malady that can be easily corrected and at a fraction of the cost of removal. Certainly the old adage applies here an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.