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What happens to a stressed tree?

A lot of the time we hear about trees coming under a lot stress. But what does this mean exactly? Can you get a stressed tree just like you can get a stressed parent?  As a matter of fact yes, you can.  If a tree undergoes certain, sudden changes it can generally lead to a series of stressful times for the tree.

What causes a tree to become stressed?

Trees can become stressed for many reasons.  Generally speaking, they will become stressed if they are lacking food or water.  When a tree is starved it goes becomes very uncomfortable and does certain things to try and generate more food.

For example, a lot of trees that have been lopped will show signs of stress.  Generally when someone lops their tree, a lot of the leaves will be removed.  The leaves generate food for the tree and without the leaves their food intake will be seriously restricted.  As a response to this, the tree will go into a survival mode and it’ll try to produce as many leaves as it can and as fast as it can. When the tree does this, it needs to have a sufficient energy source.  If not, the tree will go into severe stress and become susceptible to certain diseases.  The possibility of the tree dying is also likely.

When you get a stressed tree, the chances of it being affected by an insect and disease infestation increases. If the tree hasn’t got a sufficient energy source to fight off these diseases, it will eventually take over the branch or even the entire tree.  Furthermore, there are certain insects that are attracted to the chemical that the tree produces to help fight against diseases.  This again increases the chances of more diseases or insect infestations happening.

How to help a stressed tree?

In order to reduce the stress of a tree you first need to identify what’s causing the stress.  Is it because the tree is not getting enough light?  Maybe there is not enough food/water for it?  Or perhaps some of the branches are getting sunburnt.  Whatever the reason may be you first need to identify it and then act accordingly.

For help on identifying what is causing the tree to become stressed you can always speak with your local arborist. You can also see more of our blogs HERE.