5 Most Common Causes Of Tree Damage And Illness

Why is my tree sick? Why does my tree need to be cut down? Why did my tree fall?

These are common questions we hear when we’re out on a job. No one wants their beautiful trees to come down; it changes their yard’s landscape, can hurt property values and can be a hassle. So what do you do to protect your trees?


This summer in Minnesota we have seen how summer storms can damage trees, but there are many other common causes of tree damage – some preventable, some not.


When using your lawn mower or weed whacker, stay a safe distance away from your trees – especially young ones. Cuts on a tree can cause decay or provide an opening for disease and insects. Put mulch around your tree so you don’t have to worry about mowing around it and pick the weeds near the tree by hand.


The best way to prevent tree damage is regular maintenance. Your trees should be watered regularly (and correctly), you should prune them when needed (and correctly) and you should be fertilizing them (and correctly). Fortunately, if you don’t want to worry about all this, we offer Plant Health Care services to help you care for your trees and shrubs.


Whether you are doing construction or storing your boat in your yard for the winter, avoid putting a lot of weight on the area above your trees’ roots. A tree’s roots stabilize the tree and absorb water and nutrients. Too much weight on them can crush them and make the tree unstable or reduce its nutrient supply.


Winter is coming and if you believe the Farmers’ Almanac, it is going to be a rough one. While you can’t prevent all the damage winter storms can cause, you can adopt a winter tree care plan.

  • Add mulch to help insulate the tree
  • Use plastic tree wrap to protect young trees from rodents
  • Clear accumulating snow off branches to reduce the strain on the tree  
  • Avoid putting salt down near the tree


In Minnesota, we have several tree diseases we are worried about, but most notably there is EAB and Dutch Elm. To prevent the spread of these diseases the DNR has suggestions on when these trees should and shouldn’t be pruned and cut. They also have rules about moving around wood from these trees. Cutting these trees at the wrong time of year can lead to your tree becoming infected and infecting others.

Are you worried about a tree in your yard? Give us a call. We can come out and determine what’s wrong and how to fix it