There are no flashing red lights or low battery symbols on trees which makes it way harder to tell when a tree is dead or dying. But even with tree’s inherent lack of technology, identifying a dead tree isn’t too difficult.
Dead trees can drop big limbs or fall over in a strong storm, which can cause damage to property and injure humans. It’s important to know how to identify trees so you can have them removed before they cause harm. So read on to learn how to tell if a tree is dead.
1. No Leaves
One of the most obvious signs a tree is dead or dying is bare branches. If you see bare branches in summer when your tree should be covered in lush green leaves, this is a sign that your tree is dying.
Keep in mind that if your tree is on its way out, dead leaves won’t drop in the fall. So brown leaves that cling to branches through winter is another sign your tree is dying.
2. Look for Dead Branches
A few bare branches are normal for large trees and part of their lifecycle, but many dead branches are a sure sign of declining health. If your tree has a lot of deadwood on it then your tree is most likely dead. Keep an eye out for a lot of dead branches and limbs falling to the ground too.
3. Inspect the Trunk
Structural decay on the trunk or large branches are also signs of a dying tree. Look out for large cracks, decaying or peeling bark, and hollow areas.
Trees decay from the inside out, so if you are seeing signs of rot or decay on the outside, there is a good chance your tree is dying. Look for dry, crumbly areas of wood and large cavities. Inspect dead limbs when they fall to the ground, especially if the tree is dropping more branches than normal.
Trees with hollow or rotten trunks should be removed by a professional tree removal service, as they can often fall in unpredictable ways than can cause great bodily harm or even death.
4. Fungus Growth
A fungus is nature’s way of consuming dead plants. Where there are fungi, there is decay. Large shelf mushrooms growing on your tree are sure signs a tree is dying.
Even if your bark looks healthy on the outside, the fungus has already made its way through the inside of the trunk and has been busy consuming your tree from the inside out. Things move very slowly in the tree world. So keep an eye out for mushrooms as they can be an early indicator of a dead tree even while everything else looks to be normal.
5. Excessive Leaning
A tree that was growing straight vertically and has been caused to lean more than 15 degrees will rarely recover. This lean is usually caused by strong winds blowing the tree and uplifting the root system. A lean can also come about by rotting roots that loosen their grip in the soil as they die.
Either way, a leaning tree should be removed, especially if it poses a risk to humans or property.
Now You Know How to Tell If a Tree Is Dead
Once you know how to tell if a tree is dead, you’ll be better equipped to protect your property from falling limbs and toppling trees. Cutting down dead trees can be a dangerous job, so its best to call a professional.
Check out some of our other posts for more helpful ways to improve your home and yard.