Tree health can be difficult to determine, but checking your tree yearly may help you notice problems as they appear. Is the current year’s growth much less than past years’ growth? Fast growth does not mean good health, but a dramatic reduction in growth rate may be an indication of poor health. TIP: Look at the branch tips or tree top. Current year’s branches will typically be smaller in diameter and a different color. Also inspect the size, color, and distribution of the leaves. Look at individual leaves as well as the whole crown for differences between branches or sections of the crown. Inspect the base of the trunk for damage (e.g., from rodents or string trimmers). Also inspect the base of the tree to see if there is a flat side to the trunk.