There are more than 640 different species of trees in the world, all of which enhance nature and our environment. If cared for properly, trees can live for decades.

One way to ensure that your trees stay as healthy as possible is to get a tree health assessment done. In our guide below, we’ll explain this type of health assessment and how to get one done.


What Is a Tree Health Assessment?


When you get a tree health assessment, an arborist examines each part of the tree to determine its health. This process is done more often on trees 20 years or older. Younger trees tend to be healthier and will need a health assessment only if they display signs of illness.

During a tree health assessment, an arborist will inspect the structure, health, safety, and life expectancy of the tree. The goal is to keep trees as healthy as possible and to find trees that could be at risk of causing harm to the community or environment.

During a health assessment, the arborist will assess several factors. The following are some of the areas that a tree assessment will tackle.




An arborist will check to see if there are any major splits or cracks in the softwood, heartwood, or bark of the tree. If there are, the structural integrity of the tree could be compromised, making it susceptible to diseases, decay, or insects.


Leaning Trunk


The arborist will then look to see if the tree is straight or leaning to one side. A leaning tree can sometimes happen if the tree roots become loose from the soil in which they are planted. A tree that leans too much to one side could risk falling.




Tree decay is another problem that trees can have that can do a lot of damage to a tree. If the arborist notices certain fungi on trees, it will be noted in the health assessment.


Insect Activity


Sometimes, insect damage can be hard to identify in a tree. Having an arborist who knows what to look for can help with the early detection of insect activity and damage in a tree. The earlier insect damage is detected, the better the chance of saving the tree.


Tree Leaves


Leaf color is a great way to tell if a tree is healthy. Each tree species has leaves that change a certain color depending on the season. Tree leaves that go against this color pattern could show illness.

Arborists examine the shape and size of the leaves in a tree health assessment. Healthy trees produce leaves that are the proper size and shape for the species of tree.


Unhealthy Tree Signs


Trees often give you signs that they are unhealthy, which are sometimes obvious but other times harder to identify. Here are some signs to look out for if your tree is not in optimal health.

  • A tree that leans to one side
  • Tree bark that is falling off
  • Leaves that change color outside of the season they are supposed
  • Thinning canopy
  • Holes or bite marks in the leaves
  • Broken or dead branches
  • Roots that show signs of decay
  • Tree leaf shapes that are not correct for the species of tree


Common Tree Diseases


One of the major reasons trees can get sick is from common tree diseases. These diseases come from different fungi, viruses, and bacteria. They can also happen because of environmental stressors.

Some of the most common tree diseases found in Indiana are as follows:


Oak Wilt


A type of disease that impacts oak trees is oak wilt. Red and black oak most commonly get this fungal disease. This happens when the oak wilt fungus blocks water flow by invading the vessels in an oak tree.

Eventually, trees will wilt and drop all their leaves. Sap-feeding beetles and root graphs can transfer this disease to other trees.




Another fungus common in Indiana is Anthracnose, which can impact several types of tree species. Humid weather can exacerbate this fungus and cause dark spots on tree leaves and twigs.

Arborists can treat this type of fungus with fungicides. They can apply this fungicide to the impacted areas or the whole tree if it is a large infection.


Fire Blight


Fruit trees are most susceptible to this type of fungal disease. A tree with this disease will have spots on its branches, and the fruit may turn black. To get rid of this tree disease, you have to prune the branches that have damage to get rid of it.


Steps in a Tree Health Assessment


When it is time for a tree health assessment, a tree inspector will examine a tree from the ground up. They will check the soil and roots of the tree and look for fungi, discoloration, or grinding of the trunk.

Next, they’ll move to the tree trunk and look for tree bark with loose or hollow spots and cracks. Hollow areas are a good sign animals are living in the tree.

They’ll move to the limbs and leaves of the tree. Here, they’ll look for structural concerns and dead or broken branches and inspect leaf health.


Tree Health Assessments Keep Your Trees Healthy and Strong


Making a habit of getting a tree health assessment for your trees will allow you to address issues as soon as they arise, keeping your trees looking vibrant for many years.

Sometimes, a tree health assessment shows that a tree needs trimming or removal, which is where Grace Tree Service comes in. At Grace Tree Service, we guarantee that when customers hire us for their tree removal, trimming, or storm damage needs, they hire a company built on experience, quality, and customer satisfaction.

Contact us today for all your tree needs.