It may sound dramatic, but saying that your trees could potentially hurt you or your family is not as big of an exaggeration as you might think. Many diseases and circumstances can be detrimental to your trees’ health without you even realizing it. Any one of them can become costly for you to remedy — and dangerous to anyone who steps foot on your property. 

At Gaston’s Tree Service, we have served landowners in north central Florida for almost 50 years. Read on to learn our tried-and-true advice for ensuring your trees stay healthy and non-hazardous. 

How to Check Your Trees for Damage

Having regular tree inspections performed by our knowledgeable team will help prevent unwanted tree surprises. If you’re between inspection appointments or want to examine your trees yourself following an extreme weather event, here are some things to look out for. 


Your tree roots are a vital part of its health and vitality. For this reason, damage to the roots can negatively impact the tree’s integrity. Roots growing at the top layer of soil due to insufficient irrigation, roots visibly pulling out of the ground, and the the tree beginning to lean are all common signs of root damage.

Additional effects of root damage include 

  • Wilted or discolored leaves
  • Stunted growth
  • Thin foliage
  • Yellow, undersized leaves
  • Dead branches 
  • Slimy roots

All of these root issues will cause your tree to be more likely to fall over in a heavy storm or rain when the surrounding soil is saturated. 


Next, check your tree trunks for signs of insect damage, such as sawdust piles or small holes that ooze sap. The tree’s root system and trunk provide nutrients and water to the tree. Once the trunk is heavily infested with insects or pests, the tree will eventually die. The trunk base should be easily visible and uncovered by mulch or soil. If not, it’s more susceptible to trunk decay. 


Bark is a protective layer that helps keep the interior of your trees safe from harm and rot. But it’s not impermeable, and sometimes pests or diseases can infiltrate the bark and cause substantial damage to the inside of the tree. Common causes of bark degradation include being hit by vehicles or lawn equipment, the occurrence of lightning, or having items nailed directly into the tree. Signs of damage include cracks in the bark, missing bark, or bark that looks soft or swollen. 

Noticeable cankers in the bark or mushroom growth indicate bark injury and an increased risk of branches breaking off and falling onto structures or people on your property.  


The tree crown consists of its branches and foliage and should always appear uniform and evenly spread. If you notice unbalanced growth, long and heavy branches hanging down, or branches growing in a decidedly narrow “V” shape, the tree is dangerous and unstable, far more likely to blow over in a storm. 


A healthy tree’s branch structure will show large branches even growing on the trunk, tapering and splitting off into smaller branches and twigs, with visible green leaves extending to the tips of the branches. If you notice dead or broken branches still attached to the tree or that broken off and are lodged in the tree, these must be removed to prevent them from falling onto structures — or you. 

How to Keep Your Trees Safe

The majority of homeowners are not properly equipped to inspect, diagnose, or treat their trees, particularly if their trees are big or mature. Attempting to perform any of these tree tasks can be incredibly dangerous, so it’s best to leave it to professional arborists to perform the following tree tasks. 

  • Identify the species of your trees.
  • Inspect your trees for current hazards or potential future issues.
  • Recognize and diagnose the presence of pests, insects, and fungal diseases.
  • Trim and prune your trees. This mitigates and prevents damage, encourages growth, and removes hazardous branches and limbs.
  • Counsel you accurately and honestly on whether it’s best to remove a tree or if it can be saved.

Gaston’s Tree Service Protects You From Unhealthy Trees

Trees are a beautiful part of our Florida landscape with countless benefits, including providing shade and wildlife habitats and storing carbon. They are essential! If you want to enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your trees are healthy and growing as they should, we’re here to help.

Contact your Gaston’s Tree Service team. We’ll come out and inspect your trees for you, providing expert advice on the best course of action and dependable service to trim your trees or remove them when necessary.