By: Anthony C. Arnoldi, Board Certified Master Arborist WI-0102B
Everyone longs to see the wonderfully vibrant colors of autumn appear and turn an otherwise unremarkable landscape into something really special. While we are enjoying them, there are a few things to consider to help evaluate the health of our trees.
Almost always, when these colors appear earlier than other trees of the same species, it means trouble. It can mean that the root system has root rot, girdling roots or other issues. The trunk can have cankers, girdling wire, borers, sapsucker or animal damage, or anything that restricts sap flow up or down the trunk. It can mean that health has deteriorated badly, drought stress is catching up with it, or that physical trauma to roots or trunk is significant.
Many times, these issues have treatment protocols that can be taken to help the condition. Sometimes early fall colors are an early warning of a progressing problem. In other instances, it can be an indication of an advanced condition. Some fact-gathering and fairly involved effort to determine the diagnosis may be needed.
Look at how your trees change this fall and begin to compare them with like trees in your neighborhood. Track this color change if it is getting earlier in recent years. Definitely call your Wachtel Certified Arborist to determine why this is happening and the best course of action to help remedy the situation. Your tree’s life may depend on swift action.
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