How to Tell If a Tree is Dead
It can be hard for a property owner to tell whether a tree is dead or alive. The task is even more difficult in the winter time when some trees look dead. There can still be hope for diseased and damaged trees in some cases, but it is impossible to help a fallen tree. When you have a dead tree in your yard, there is no other way but to have it removed as soon asap before it causes trouble. Below are some of the most common signs to help you determine the health of your tree and give you an idea of what you should do after.
Things to Check for with a possible Dead Tree
Check the tree and look for physical signs of it being dead. You can perform simple tests or inspect for obvious signs to help you tell if the tree is dead or not.
Inspect the tree's base and look for signs of fungus at its base. Fungus growth is a common sign of a dead tree. It could mean that the inside of the trunk has decayed and the tree is already dead.
Tree Trunk Damage
It doesn't end with fungus growth. Look at the tree trunk for vertical cracks in it. If you see any damage, it could be a sign that the tree is in bad shape. If a tree is healthy, its bark will grow back after it falls off due to maturity. If it remains empty and smooth, your tree may be dying.
Check for Bare Branches
Tree branches should be dense with leaves in spring or summer, but if they are not, it can be an indicator that it is dead. In some cases, only one side of the tree is affected with bare branches, and the other side is fine. It can mean that the tree is only diseased on one side, but it could still be a problem because the tree will become uneven and breakdown over time because of its weight.
Check for Damaged Roots
Checking for bad roots is not as easy as it seems. The good thing is, some signs can help you tell if the roots are damaged. If the tree is leaning towards one side, it can signal that the tree's root are not stable, compromising the structure of the tree. Also, epicormic shoots can be found at the base of a tree with weak roots. Some things people do can contribute to a root's damage such as excavation and construction projects, they can loosen the soil that could lead to shallow root systems.
Perform Scratch or Break Test
An easy way to determine the health of a tree is by doing a scratch test. Use a small knife, scratch one of the tree's branches, and if it shows green and moist flesh, then your tree is in good shape. Do this to some other branches in different parts of the tree, and if they all show the same result, you've got a healthy tree.
How to Tell if a Tree is Dead in the Winter
It can be extra hard to tell if a tree is dead or not in their dormant stage because most trees could appear dead. It helps to look for signs of buds on the branches because healthy trees have buds even in winter. You can also use the scratch test to identify a dead tree.
Why are Dead Trees a Problem?
The problem of dead trees go beyond aesthetic, more so on the risk they pose not just to your property, but to people. There are plenty of reasons why you should not think twice in having your dead tree removed, and we had them here.
Disease/ insects can spread to other trees
One of the major culprits for a dead tree is a disease. If your tree is diseased, the other trees surrounding it are also in danger of getting infected. Diseases can quickly spread among trees, which can result in more dead trees in your yard.
Dead trees don't only infect healthy trees with diseases, but they can also draw a swarm of insects and pests. Rats and termites often make dead trees their refuge.
Dead branches falling
If your tree is dead, it would have dead branches. A dead branch can fall anytime and cause injury to people or damage to property.
Dead Trees can be A Hazardous
Aside from dead branches falling, the tree can fall at any time. Dead trees have compromised the structure and can fall. If a dead tree is near power lines, buildings, or roads, it can mean trouble when it falls. It is best to have a dead tree removed before the worst case happens.
How to Determine if a Dead Tree Should be Removed
In most cases, a dead tree should be removed, but there are times when it is okay to leave it.
If the tree is in a remote place, you can leave it alone:
Dead trees in remote areas can be home to different wildlife.
If half of the tree is damaged, it should be eliminated:
Trees like this may be beyond recovery, so it is best to have them removed.
Near hazardous situations:
For obvious reasons, a dead tree near power lines or other fixed structure should be removed immediately.
If removing it helps other trees near by:
Will removing the tree benefit trees surrounding it? If the answer is yes, then remove it.
What to Do If You Have a Dead Tree
If you think your tree needs to be removed, it is best to contact your local tree removal company to get the job done. Professional tree removal companies have trained workers who can tell you whether your tree can still be saved or if it needs to be removed. They can provide you with an estimate for the service to be performed so you can see what options you have.
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