Healthy looking beech tree

Healthy looking beech tree

I know we’ve not had much of a summer so far and to start talking about winter already seems to be just not far! But now is a good time to take a look at your trees to see if there are any early signs of a problem.

But first, my name is Martin and I have been working with trees for about 24 years, I have letters after my name to prove it. I have been with Tree Maintenance for over 12 years and split my time between climbing trees, quoting and consulting. One of these days someone will realise how much fun I have climbing trees and stop paying me, so better back to the blog… (my first one!)

So, you don’t have to be an expert to spot the early signs of problems, all you have to do is use a bit of common sense. Below are the four areas to look at:

  • Ground
  • Trunk
  • Canopy
  • Leaves / Needles

Now to take each one individually


Sometimes we spend all our time looking up without seeing a problem below. Have a quick look around the base of the tree for anything which looks out of place, e.g. exposed roots, large cracks or even a fungus. But remember, just because you find something doesn’t mean there’s a problem, it could just be time to get an expert in to have a look; better to be safe than sorry.


The three main things to be looking for here are as follows:

  • Cavities – a tree can lose over half its internal mass and still be able to survive (if the circumference is mainly intact). So finding a small hole does not condemn the tree, it only means you should get it looked at.
  • Abnormal bumps – when a tree has an internal weakness which you can’t always see, it will put on what we call reaction growth, this is were it will basically try to make itself stronger at an area of weakness. This results in lumps and bumps appearing. Again this may not mean the tree needs work, only that it should have an expert look at it.
  • Staining – this is often a sign of some internal defect, which again should have some further investigation.


This involves mainly looking at the branch structure and the amount of dead wood. When looking at the branches you are looking for tight forks, which could be an indicator of a weakness, or rubbing branches may also cause long-term problems. The amount of dead wood in the crown will vary on different types of tree; overall some dead wood is to be expected, but if there is a lot then the tree may be in decline.

Leaves / Needles

Poor looking beech tree

Poor looking beech tree

A good indication of the tree health is the leaves. For example, if your beech tree has small yellowing leaves and the one next door has large dark green ones your tree could be showing the first signs of problem to with the soil or roots. However it could also mean that you have a golden beech which is quite rare! So it’s always good to know what is normal for that type of tree. Also the amount of foliage is a good indicator of a tree’s health.

So with all these tips you should be able to be able to spot a warning sign that your tree needs help. However, this is only a guide; if you are in doubt ask an expert (that’s what we’re here for!) Hope this has been useful in helping you look after your trees.

This post was brought to you by Tree Maintenance. If  you would like any assistance with your tree report, by all means give us a call.

Speak to an expert member of our team today
Jacob Rumbold

Get In Touch

Speak to an expert member of our team today

Recent Articles

Hedge Trimming in a Formal Garden

Hedge Trimming Services This is the time of year that we generally start hedge trimming. Many of our long-standing customers have us in each year to trim their hedges and keep them looking smart and in good order. Well-trimmed hedges not only look fantastic, but they...

Pruning a Hornbeam Tree

Are you struggling with a tree that’s causing shade and nuisance? At Tree Maintenance Ltd, we recently helped a valued customer with a challenging tree situation.

Tree Canopy or Crown Reduction

Tree Maintenance tree surgeons preserve majestic Horse Chestnut trees in Cromhall, including height reduction, wind resistance, and safe MEWP access.

Sympathetic Reduction of 2 Horse Chestnuts

We recently undertook a fascinating tree surgery project in Cromhall, where we had the opportunity to work on a pair of majestic Horse Chestnut trees. One of the trees had experienced branch fractures, likely due to a recent storm, compromising its structural...

Introducing The MEWP

Enhancing tree surgery, safety and efficiency with our MEWP. Precise pruning, cost-effective tree felling, compact design, and low environmental impact.

Ash Dieback 101

Across the world, Ash trees are under threat from a disease known as ash dieback. Watch consultant Nick Organ with everything you need to know.

Cherry Tree removal

This large old Cherry tree was overshadowing our client's garden and house. Our client was initially keen to retain the tree, therefore we previously had crown raised this tree to alleviate the shading it was causing. However, several years later, due to it's...

The effects of floods and storms on trees

Floods and storms effect trees in many ways, their effect is greatly influenced by many factors such as wind speed, wind direction, rain intensity and duration, location, water type tree species, age and health. Trees can adapt to changing conditions but this...

Plant Pest and Disease Management

Every day we leave our homes and rarely take the time to appreciate the incredible landscape we have all around us. Our gardens, parks, public open spaces, countryside and woodlands all contribute to our patchwork landscape which provides us with so many benefits...

Trees: Risk and Responsibility

Trees provide many benefits which are valued by society. They are however large biological organisms, and tree owners in the UK are required by law to ensure they are safe.

Related Blogs

How Can We Help?

Privacy Policy(Required)