Don’t Let Your Trees Suffer: Common Causes of Damage

Trees are not only a beautiful addition to any landscape, but they are also essential in providing shade, oxygen, and habitat for wildlife. However, trees can be vulnerable to damage from various sources, including natural causes, human activities, and pests, sometimes making tree removal necessary. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common causes of tree damage and how to prevent them.

Natural Causes of Tree Damage 

Weather and Climate

The weather can cause a lot of harm to trees, with wind, hail, snow, ice, and lightning being the most significant causes. Trees can lose their branches or even be uprooted by strong winds, while hail can damage the leaves and bark. Snow and ice can also make branches heavy and break them. Lightning can be especially dangerous, causing trees to split or start fires.


Drought is another natural cause of tree damage that can have long-lasting effects. Trees require a significant amount of water to survive, and prolonged drought can cause them to become stressed, weak, and more vulnerable to pests and diseases. During drought, it is essential to water trees regularly and mulch around the base to retain moisture.


Flooding is another natural cause of tree damage that can have devastating effects. When soil becomes saturated, it can lead to root rot or drowning, which can cause the tree to die. Flooding can also cause erosion, leading to soil compaction and suffocation of roots. Trees in areas prone to flooding should be planted on raised beds or mounds to avoid water logging.

Human Activities That Cause Tree Damage


Construction activities such as excavation, digging, and grading can cause significant damage to trees. The roots of trees can be cut or damaged during excavation or grading, leading to the tree’s decline or death.

Heavy equipment used during construction can also compact the soil, making it difficult for roots to absorb water and nutrients. To avoid damage, trees located near construction sites should be protected with barriers or fencing.

Vehicular Traffic

Vehicular traffic can also cause tree damage, especially in urban areas with high traffic volumes. Cars and trucks can cause soil compaction, leading to poor root growth and tree decline.

Road salt used in winter can also damage trees by causing a salt burn on leaves and branches. Trees near roads should be protected with barriers or fencing to minimize damage.

Improper Pruning

Improper pruning can also cause tree damage by removing too much of the tree’s canopy or cutting branches too close to the trunk. This can lead to sunscald, which is the damage caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. Sunscald can cause the bark to crack, leading to disease and pest infestation. It is essential to hire a certified arborist to prune trees correctly.

Pests and Diseases that Cause Tree Damage


Insects such as borers, beetles, and caterpillars can cause significant damage to trees by feeding on leaves, bark, and wood. Some insects can also transmit diseases to trees, leading to their decline or death. Trees should be inspected regularly for signs of insect infestation, and appropriate measures should be taken to control them.


Diseases such as canker, root rot, and blight can also cause tree damage by infecting the tree’s tissues and weakening its structure. Some conditions can be prevented by maintaining good tree health, such as watering and fertilizing properly, while others may require specialized treatment. Trees should be inspected regularly for signs of disease, and appropriate measures should be taken to prevent their spread.


Trees are valuable assets that benefit the environment and the people who live in them. Understanding the common causes of tree damage can help homeowners and landscapers take appropriate measures to prevent it. Whether it is natural causes, human activities, or pests and diseases, proper tree care and maintenance can help ensure that trees remain healthy and vibrant for many years to come.

ATL Tree Work offers tree removal in Duluth, GA and other tree care services, such as pruning and trimming. Our team of experienced and certified arborists can help you identify potential risks and provide solutions to protect your trees and property. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services.

ATL Tree Work

ATL Tree Work has been servicing the needs of Atlanta homeowners and businesses since 2003. We pride ourselves on consistently giving our commercial and residential customers exceptional results at affordable prices, without compromising quality of service.


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