The Signs a Tree Is Dying: A Basic Guide

Death comes for all living things. Including the tree you thought was going to live for generations to come.

If you suspect that a tree on your property may be dying, you can’t ignore it.

Apart from the unsightly look sending your home’s curb appeal plummeting, a dead tree can pose a risk to your family and properties. Dead branches can fall suddenly and injure people, pets, or your wallet if they land on your car.

But how do you know if a tree is just sick or close to death? Sometimes, the signs a tree is dying aren’t clear cut.

To help you out, here are some key symptoms that will tell you if a tree is on death’s door.

1. The Branches Are Stripped of Healthy Leaves

Look at your tree’s branches. Are they almost bare at the time of the year when they should be lush with leaves? Do they only have brown and sickly leaves during the growing season?

It’s probably time to think about tree removal costs.

Keep in mind that deciduous trees, such as oak and maple, naturally shed leaves during the winter. As a matter of fact, if dead leaves still cling to the branches well into the winter, that’s also a sign that it’s not in good health.

2. The Trunk Has Vertical Cracks and Weak Bark

Any severe damage to the trunk can put the tree’s health in serious jeopardy. Vertical cracks are like scars. They’re created as the tree attempts to seal over a wound.

If you see a deep split that extends into the internal cavity, the tree may have sustained an injury that’s impossible to recover from. It might be best to put it out of its misery and call the professionals at Acevedo Tree Service for tree removal.

Aside from looking for cracks, examine the bark on the tree or lack of it. While it’s normal for old bark to fall off, a healthy tree replaces it with a new layer. If new bark doesn’t appear or if there are large areas of missing bark, your tree is in grave danger.

3. Root Issues Are One of the Signs a Tree Is Dying

Plants and trees can recover from root damage if the damage doesn’t exceed a quarter of the total root area. Beyond that, the tree has grim chances of survival.

Roots can get hurt by recent construction, excavation, or poor site conditions.

It’s not always easy to see root damage since they can run deep underground. Some signs on the tree itself may clue you in that the roots are compromised.

You may see a noticeable lean to the tree that wasn’t there before. Another sign is if dead branches are relegated to one side of the tree. It’s as if the tree suffered a stroke.

4. It’s Become Food for Fungus and Pests

It’s a bad sign if the tree can’t fend off fungus, pests, and bacteria. It may be experiencing internal rot and decay.

These organisms choose hosts that are weakened, dying, or already dead.

What to Do About a Dead Tree

When you see signs a tree is dying, it’s time to accept reality. While dying trees can still be saved, more often than not, it’s already too late. The only thing left to do is to remove the dead tree from your property.

If you liked this article, check out the home and lifestyle sections of our site for more tips and info!

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