In the summer months, being surrounded by trees can be a great thing, as having some shade to sit or stand in can offer a welcome reprieve from the scorching sun. However, you may have noticed that some of your trees don’t have a full amount of leaves on them, with some trees even having leaves only on one side. This can not only be inconvenient for you in terms of blocking out the sun, but it’s also not very aesthetically pleasing either. In order to understand how to deal with a tree with leaves on just one side, it’s first necessary to understand the reasons why this is the case.
A Major Sign of a Dying Tree
This is not always the case, but a tree with leaves on just one side, or sparse leaves overall, is a major sign of a tree that is slowly dying. Besides sparse leaves, there are additional signs to look for, such as:
- Roots that look weak or are decaying;
- Twigs that are short or not growing;
- Leaves that appear as if they’re in their fall colors even though it’s the middle of summer;
- Branches that are small or are rotting in the upper tree canopy during the months of May and June.
The Causes of Sparse Leaves
Your tree may not necessarily be dying. There are many other possible causes of a tree having uneven leaf growth. The potential causes of having leaves on just one side of a tree are:
- Extreme weather:
With extreme weather, if the weather is unusually cold, it can cause the soil to become frozen, meaning that the tree would not be able to take in nutrients and water. Harsh, cold winds can also damage a tree. A tree that becomes undernourished is far more susceptible to diseases and pests as well.
- Poor pre-construction planning:
If there’s a lack of proper pre-construction planning, the safety of the trees can be compromised. Soil can be overly compacted and root damage can be caused to the trees, both of which can have an immense effect on leaf growth.
If the tree or the soil that’s connected to the tree is exposed to harsh chemicals or other forms of pollution, this can also have an adverse effect on leaf growth.
- Girdling roots:
This involves roots that wrap around the tree’s trunk or other nearby roots, which results in a decrease in the flow of water and/or nutrients. The result is a tree that is malnourished, and a malnourished tree won’t have even leaf growth.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, since it depends on what’s causing only one side of your tree to have leaves in the first place. But one solution could be to make sure that you make it a point to water around your trees, use fertilizer, and to engage in pruning, which are three necessary actions to have a healthy tree.
Another, perhaps more sensible, solution, is to contact a company for a tree inspection.This company will be able to come to your property and examine the tree and the surrounding area in order to determine the main causes and the best course of action to take.
Lewis Tree Service has been serving the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas for close to 30 years and would be able to send an ISA certified arborist to your property immediately. Make sure to contact us today for a free quote!