How To Save a Stressed Tree: 4 Tips

Your once lush, verdant tree becoming more like a sad, drooping version of its former self can feel disheartening. But before you start singing its swan song, remember that plants, just like us, have bad days, too. 

Here at Empire Tree Experts, we know how to save a stressed tree and give it a new lease on life. Let’s dive into some game-changing tips that may bring your prized specimen back to its glory days!

how to save a stressed tree

1. Adjust Your Pruning Schedule

Did you recently prune your tree, and it hasn’t recovered since? This practice has its benefits, but overdoing it can lead to stress. 

Instead of frequent, drastic cuts, opt for more gentle, periodic sessions. Aim to trim during late winter when most trees lie dormant. This way, they have ample time to recover before spring’s growth spurt.

You can also leave this task to tree trimming experts in Santa Rosa so you can rest easy knowing your specimen receives the best care.

2. Provide Supplemental Hydration

Remember, trees can get thirsty, too, especially during long, scorching summers or dry spells. Your regular watering routine may simply not cut it during these challenging times. If your tree exhibits these tell-tale symptoms, it might benefit from a deep drink:

  • Leaves begin to wilt or droop, giving the tree a fatigued appearance
  • The normally vibrant green color of the leaves starts to fade
  • Growth rate reduction
  • Foliage drop occurs out of season
  • The tree produces smaller leaves or fewer flowers
  • Cracks or splits in the bark

You should also consider installing a slow-release drip irrigation system around tree trunks if they seem to struggle constantly.

3. Reassess Your Mulch

Mulch can become a tree’s best friend thanks to its weed control, moisture retention, and nutrient boosting capabilities — but poorly applied, it becomes its worst enemy.

One blunder beginner gardeners often make is the formation of a “mulch volcano,” a steep pile that suffocates the tree roots and leaves the trunk vulnerable to rotting.

If you want to know how to save a stressed tree, simply dial back the amount of mulch. Aim for a two-inch deep, doughnut-shaped ring around the specimen, keeping the trunk area clear.

4. Know When To Call a Tree Service

Some cases demand professional intervention. If you notice these red flags, give your stressed trees the best chance at recovery by enlisting the help of a certified arborist:

  • Large, dead branches or entire sections of the tree look lifeless
  • Fungal bodies begin to sprout from the bark or at the base
  • Trunk shows signs of decay, such as soft, crumbly wood or deep cracks
  • Mature tree leans dramatically in one direction
  • Sawdust-like material, mud tunnels, or random holes on the trunk or branches

From addressing tree decay stemming from pests and diseases to performing tailor-fit maintenance, our crew at Empire Tree Experts is your ultimate ally in landscape care. Call (707) 521-2151 and get help from specialists who know how to save a stressed tree!

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