How to Tell If a Tree Is Dead or Dying: 10 Telltale Signs

How to Tell if a Tree Is Dead: Ten Signs You Should Not Ignore

Many people wonder how to tell if a tree is dead. The answer is that the signs are pretty apparent, and most people can tell if the tree is in trouble. However, understanding the extent of the problem is more complex. 

In this post, Island Tree Service, your trusted arborist in Fort Myers, Florida, explains how to look for signs of life and what warning signs you cannot ignore. 

Ten Signs That Your Tree Is Dead or Dying

Knowing how to tell if a tree is dead requires you to recognize the signs of trouble. The following are the most common symptoms of a dead tree:

  1. Shedding twigs or branches: Healthy trees will lose some twigs and maybe branches in windy conditions. However, you shouldn’t see several of them on the ground regularly. 
  2. Shedding bark: Flaking bark may be a sign of tree diseases or malnutrition. Either way, by the time you reach this stage, the issue is severe. Calling an arborist is the best way to rescue this tree. 
  3. Fungi or rot: Acting immediately may make it possible to save the tree, but you need expert help. Without the proper treatment, the fungus could spread to surrounding plants. The rot may make the tree hazardous. 
  4. Leaning: If the tree begins to keel over, it means its roots can no longer support its bulk. This may be due to the wet ground making it difficult for the roots to hold on or damage. 
  5. Open sores: Trees can recover from some wounds, but the larger the sore, the more challenging recovery is. Splits in a tree and torn branches are nasty injuries from which to recover. 
  6. No leaves at the wrong time of the year: Leaves help a tree produce energy, so dead leaves or shedding during the spring and summer indicate a severe issue. 
  7. Pests: Infestations will eventually kill even healthy trees. 
  8. Root damage: Root trauma to more than a quarter of the roots makes a recovery highly unlikely. 
  9. Brittle branches: Check live and dead branches and small twigs from time to time; they should be slightly flexible. If they snap easily, they are dead. 
  10. No green tissue: Scratch the bark lightly and see if there is any green, moist tissue inside. If there is, the tree is still alive, and you can save it. If not, it is dead already. 

Contact Our Team Today!

It’s good news if your tree has some life in it. Now you need to know how to support it during its recovery. Your best option is to call one of our arborists for their professional opinion.

You need to establish what caused the illness and deal with it. For example, if vines kill trees, you must eradicate the vines.

Now that you know how to tell if a tree is dead, it may be time to schedule professional tree removal. Contact our experts at Island Tree Service at (239) 463-5121 today for an affordable consultation and the best advice in Fort Myers, FL. 

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