Now that spring is here, you should be seeing some changes in your landscape. Grass is getting greener, plants are starting to bud, and wildlife activity is increasing every day. With a little more time, all the trees and flowers will soon be blooming and producing as they do every year. However, some trees do not make it through the winter, which is why now it is a good time to check your trees and ensure they are still alive and healthy.
If your trees are currently in decline, there may be a chance to restore them with proper tree care and treatment. If your trees are dead, they may need to be removed or trimmed back. A licensed tree service specialist can make this determination for you after just one visit.
In the meantime, continue reading to learn the top 4 common signs that indicate a tree could be dead.
❶ Bare Branches
One of the most obvious signs that a tree is not healthy is branch loss. If you notice that a tree on your property looks bare this spring because it failed to produce a full canopy of foliage, it could be having health issues or close to dying. In the case that half of the tree’s canopy is full and bright and the other half is bare, it could be a sign that the tree is sick with a disease. Common tree diseases that cause foliage loss include Oak Wilt, Fire Blight, Emerald Ash Borer, Root Rot, and Crown Rot. If a large tree is diseased and loses half its canopy, it could become a safety hazard since the imbalance of foliage weight can cause the tree to fall.
❷ Trunk Damage
After you take a look at the tree’s canopy, you need to inspect the trunk. A tree’s trunk will provide good evidence if it becomes ill or malnourished. Look closely for vertical cracks. This kind of tree damage is a good indication that it is not doing well in terms of health. It may still be alive, but something is interfering with its health and structural integrity. Tree trunks should have bark that protects the inner parts of the trunk responsible for nutrient and water absorption and distribution. If you see patches on the trunk that are completely smooth and bark-free (almost like finished wood), whether large or small, it is a bad sign.
❸ Fungal Growth
The appearance of mushrooms and similar fungal growths are a common sign of a dead tree, or tree decline. To look for fungal growth, pay close attention to trunk and the base of the tree. This is where it likes to grow since it is usually darker and cooler. If you see fungus on the trunk, it is likely that the trunk is rotted on the inside and the tree is dead.
❹ Root Damage
Root damage can be hard to spot on a relatively young or newly planted tree. However, you can sometimes spot root damage yourself. For instance, look to see if the tree is leaning to one particular side. This is an indication that the root system is damaged or weakened. You can also look for epicormic shoots. These look like misplaced branches growing out of the bottom of a tree trunk. These two signs often indicate that a tree has damaged roots. If the tree roots are very large and stick out of the ground, look for damages done by lawn mowers, construction, wildlife, and pests. To confirm accurately if a tree has root damage, you would need to contact a licensed Indianapolis tree service for a professional inspection and assessment.
Still Unsure if Your Tree is Dead or Alive?
🌱 Perform a Scratch Test!
Pull a few twigs from the tree and scratch a portion of the bark off. If the inner tissue is moist and green, the tree is alive. If it is brittle and dry, the tree is dead. Be sure to test three or four branches to be sure.