What Is Killing My Utah Trees?

Something is killing too many of our Utah trees, and this problem is extending throughout the Intermountain West. In fact, a number of pervasive diseases and pests are wreaking havoc with trees across our state.


If your healthy trees start to take a turn for the worse, bark beetles or a disease may be to blame. More likely, however, is that your sick tree simply isn’t getting what it needs to grow and thrive.

What Is Killing Your New Utah Tree?

When new trees fail to establish, we tend to assume fault with the plant itself or with how it was cared for during the first weeks and months after planting.

In some cases, the tree itself may have come from the nursery with a problem. If so, most reputable garden centers will refund your money or replace the plant.

Overwatering and underwatering can kill a tree. The roots need to remain slightly moist (though not waterlogged), and you must take care not to let the root ball dry out. You may have planted the root ball too deeply or in a hole too shallow or narrow for the roots. You may also have failed to sufficiently loosen the root ball before planting.

However, if you have planted a non-native species of tree, the local climate conditions may not meet the plant’s needs. This problem may be exacerbated if you have not amended your soil to appropriately fulfill the tree’s nutrition.

What Is Killing Your Established Utah Trees?

If your established trees are struggling, any of the problems noted above for new trees may be to blame. But if you are caring for the tree properly and haven’t had problems in the past, the plant is more likely suffering due to a pest or disease.

Some potential suspects include bark beetles, Ips beetles, tree fungus and bacterial disease. The Utah State University Extension publishes image galleries depicting problems common to our areas, which may help you better identify the potential culprit.

What Do I Do if My Tree Is Dying?

The most important thing is to get your ailing tree attention quickly. The longer the problem is allowed to go unaddressed, the worse your chances of saving the plant.

USU’s Extension provides an excellent resource for troubleshooting tree problems. However, there’s no substitute for an expert eye. The knowledgeable arborists of Reliable Tree Care are well-versed in the problems that can affect Utah trees.

Talk to us about implementing a regular regimen of care for your trees. The best way to protect your trees from problems is to support their health all year long, with fertilization treatments, pruning and trimming. The arborist can also inspect your trees at each visit, to detect potential problems as early as possible.

In Murray, Utah, Reliable Tree Care provides a comprehensive range of services, including fruit tree care and pruning, disease and insect control. If something is killing your Utah trees, don’t delay in calling us to schedule a consultation with a professional arborist.