Watch out for these ten tree stressors

Lonely, bare stressed tree in field

It’s been proven that simply being around trees has the ability to relieve stress in people. But while trees give off an aura of calm and tranquillity, they can also experience stress. It’s difficult to tell when a tree is stressed, but you can learn what conditions trigger stress in trees.


  1. Water stress

Trees need water to survive, but either too much or too little can cause serious problems. Flooding a tree with water deprives the roots of oxygen. On the other hand, if a tree doesn’t get enough water, the finer roots near the surface of the soil will die.


  1. Poor soil aeration

In normal soils, oxygen helps to remove toxins formed by tree roots and other organisms. In soil that is oxygen-poor, this oxidation doesn’t take place, and the tree will struggle to get the nutrients it needs.


  1. Poor soil drainage

The space between soil particles determines the drainage characteristics of the soil. If the pores are too large, water will drain away too quickly; if the pores are too small, then the soil will retain too much water.


  1. Compaction

When the soil around your trees becomes compacted, the roots may be exposed and this poses a danger to people and trees alike. Compaction is caused by people, pets and traffic and tends to cut off the supply of oxygen and water to the roots.


  1. Air pollution

Trees are sensitive to air pollution, particularly sulphur dioxide, fluorides and oxidants. It’s most common for trees in cities and urban areas to be affected by pollution, but it can also occur in rural areas.


  1. Chemicals

Use fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides with care around your trees. Always follow the instructions on the label and take care when using chemicals in your garden. The wind may carry toxic particles to trees and shrubs that are not the target of the treatment you’re applying.


  1. Wounds

People, animals and pests can all cause damage to trees. If tree wounds aren’t treated properly, an infection could set in. If you see a wound on a tree, use a sharp knife to trim loose bark, leaving a clean edge.


  1. Improper pruning

If you’re not familiar with the proper pruning techniques it’s best to call in a professional tree care specialist. Any cuts need to be made flush with the trunk or connecting branch. If stubs remain, they may become infected.


  1. Improper planting

Different trees thrive in different conditions. The type of soil, amount on sunlight and water all affect how well a tree will grow. If a tree isn’t planted in the right place, it will struggle.


  1. Lawn and Garden Equipment

Lawnmowers, weed whackers and blunt pruning shears can damage roots, branches and trunks. To avoid damaging your trees with a lawn mower or edge trimmer, don’t allow grass to grow up to the base of the trunk.


Trees don’t have the luxury of moving away from the things that cause them stress. They rely on us to keep them safe from harm and provide them with everything they need to flourish. If you suspect your trees are stressed, give Brands Tree Fellers a call and let our horticulturist give them a check-up.