Top 5 Most Common Tree Problems and Solutions

Top 5 Most Common Tree Problems and Solutions

Noticed brown leaves on your tree? Or perhaps your tree doesn’t seem to be growing much this year?

We’re here to help figure out what problem may be plaguing your tree. After caring for nearly every kind of tree over the last 135 years, we’re masters at identifying the most common tree problems.

Best of all, we have solutions for you! Scroll on to learn more. If you’re looking for more personalized info, hop over to our plant health care program page.

1. Lack of Mineral Recycling and Nutrients

Problem: Trees in our landscape frequently suffer from a lack of nutrients. In the forest, trees enjoy the benefits of nutrient-rich soil from decomposing leaves.

Solutions: Add nutrition back to the soil.

2. Compacted Soils

Problem: In our yards, trees often grow in compacted soil.

  • Our yard is our backyard getaway. We run, play, walk, and enjoy our yard constantly.
  • All that foot traffic, along with lawn mowers and construction projects, creates soil compaction. Plus, major soil compaction occurred when your house was built, so if your home is newer, it’s likely you’ll see this problem.
  • Compacted soil leads to stressed soil, crushed root, and restricted root growth.

Solutions: Loosen the soil to reduce compaction and stress on trees.

3. Opportunistic Pests

Problem: Stressed trees are more likely to be targeted by some pests.

  • Often, there are three common causes of tree stress, which all boil down to a poor environment. Specifically, your tree may be planted in the wrong location, suffer from a lack of nutrients or not have access to enough resources.
  • If trees are already struggling for nutrients and compete with nearby grass, this problem is compounded.

Solutions: Spot and treat tree pests and diseases early. Also, help relieve trees’ stress by following solutions #1 and #2

4. Mechanical and Natural Damage

Problem: Lawn equipment and animals can damage our trees.

  • Deer and rabbits can do a number on your shrubs and trees.
  • Plus, as we use lawn mowers and string trimmers, we can accidentally hurt tree trunks.
  • When wounded by lawn equipment or hungry animals, these injuries interrupt trees' spread of water and nutrients.

Solutions: Check your trees regularly while prioritizing your trees’ long-term health.

5. Restricted Root Space

Problem: As trees grow, their expansive roots run into obstacles.

  • When we plant those tiny tree saplings, they seemed far enough from the road.
  • As trees grow, roots often spread well beyond the edges of its canopy.
  • Then, they begin to run into barriers, such as buildings, roads, and sidewalks, that limit root growth.

Solutions: Remedy the soil. Give trees the essentials. Spot problem roots.

Click to learn more about Davey’s plant health care programs!

  • The Tree Doctor October 23, 2018 >Hi Liz, I would recommend having a certified arborist come out and confirm that infestation. They will then prescribe that appropriate treatment plant for your tree. You can contact your local Davey Tree office directly at (916) 520-0764. You can also fill out a quick consultation request form on their local web page here: Best of luck you, Liz. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
  • Liz Kane October 17, 2018 >Our huge red maple has what looks like a severe infestation of white fly. What do you recommend?
  • The Tree Doctor September 12, 2018 > Hi Mary Ann, Great point! Volcano mulching is definitely a serious and widespread issue. We tackle this topic and how to properly mulch your trees in our post here:
  • Mary Ann E September 10, 2018 >Yikes!!! Why is ‘volcano mulching’ not on your list? Drive down most any street in Bolingbrook or Woodridge to see how many trees are failing from mulch piled (hard and high) against trees. The majority of residents (and plenty of ‘pros’) think the more mulch, the better — “It’s nourishing!”... If a tree starts to fail, they pile on MORE mulch. Please help spread the word to expose the root flares.
  • The Tree Doctor September 5, 2017 >Hi Dale. You can buy Arbor Green Pro online at If you do decide to apply this yourself, please make sure to read the label and follow instructions precisely. Hope this helps. Here if you have any other questions, Dale.
  • Dale Frantz August 26, 2017 >How do I buy a bag of Davey Pro fertilizer
Add a comment:
Related Blog Posts

Request a consultation

  • How would you like to be contacted?
*Please fill out all required fields.