How to Tell if a Tree is Dead

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Wondering how to tell if a tree is dead? It’s not always cut and dry. A dying tree can look just as aesthetically beautiful as a lively one, which makes a professional evaluation essential. Until you schedule a consultation, here are some things to look for.

Are You Living with a Dying Tree

Have you found yourself concerned that there’s a dying tree on your property? Have you noticed what seems like dead tree branches in danger of falling? Often a sick tree can be saved, but to know for sure, you can conduct a quick test on your own.

  1. Scratch one of the tree’s twigs with your fingernail or pocketknife. Is it green and moist beneath the surface? Good news! Your tree is still alive! Is it brittle and brown? You have a few more steps to take.
  2. Select a few more twigs to scratch and see if they are green
  3. Inspect the tree base for mushrooms or fungi
  4. Examine the trunk for cracks, splits or peeling bark
  5. Look for deformed or missing leaves or hanging limbs and branches that may require tree limb removal

Did your tree pass the scratch test? Great! You might still have a sick tree on your hands, which requires a treatment plan by a certified arborist.

Did your tree fail the test? You may have a dying tree in need of professional help. Not only will an arborist have the expertise to know how to tell if a tree is dead, they’ll be able to take the appropriate steps to remove it.

Think You Have Dead Tree Branches? Don’t Wait to Get a Diagnosis

A sick or dying tree can be a threat to your property and any people nearby. Don’t wait to find out for sure. Call your local tree company to help you look for symptoms of stress and sickness, and make a plan of action.