Our Professional Technicians Share Their Helpful Tips on How to Identify Dead or Dying Trees
How to Tell if a Tree is Dying
We have put together a list of identifying traits to look for that could indicate your tree is dying, or may already be dead, and you should take action soon to prevent accidents and damage. A dying or dead tree is not going to fix itself and if you wait too long, you are just asking for something bad to happen to yourself, your property, or others.
Damage to the Trunk
Are there cracks running vertically up the tree? Extreme damage to the tree trunk can increase the likelihood of your tree dying. Also look for missing bark on the trunk of the tree. As a tree gets older, the older bark will naturally break loose and fall off. This old bar will be replaced with new bark over time, if the tree is in good health. But if the tree does not show signs of new bark appearing, and there are lots of areas of smooth wood, this can indicate that your tree is not healthy and may get worse.
Branches that are Bare
Take a good look at your tree’s branches. Another good indicator is if the branches are not covered in leaves when it should be. Also note if the tree is deciduous and has dead leaves that are still attached to the branches well into winter, when they should have dropped off. On a healthy deciduous tree they would fall off. Dead branches on one side of a tree is a sign that your tree may be facing serious damage to it’s trunk or root system and should be inspected by a professional.
Signs of Damaged Roots
A tree’s roots run deep in the ground making it hard, if not impossible to determine the health of the tree’s root system. Nearby excavation work, new construction, shallow or exposed root systems that are subjected to extreme elements, and improper soil compaction are some of the many issues that can affect the health and sustainability of a tree’s roots.
If a tree suddenly begins to lean to one side, then this can be an indicator of serious root damage. If you see small branches sprouting around the base of the trunk, this is another indicator that you may be facing root damage. These small branches are known as epicormic shoots and they frequently indicate that the tree is dealing with some sever stress factors.
Fungus Growing on Your Tree
If you see large fungus growing on the trunk or branches of the tree, like shelf fungus or bracket fungus (also known as wood conchs), these are signs that the tree could be suffering from internal rot. These fungus growing on the outside may be the only thing left alive on your tree.
In all cases, if you suspect your tree is having troubles, you should contact a professional to ascertain the true condition of your tree right away. An Expert Arborist can find solutions to improve the health of your tree, or make the judgement call as to it’s removal or replacement. If you need our assistance, please do not hesitate to call us, or fill out our Free Estimate form and a trained professional will contact you to discuss your needs.