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Sep 14, 2020 4:02 PM ET

Signs of a dead or dying tree

iCrowd Newswire - Sep 14, 2020

If you own trees, then care and maintenance is a crucial thing to do if you want them to grow and develop. However, other than that, regular assessment is vital for you to understand both physical and health condition of your trees.

It is necessary that you have to find an arborist from a tree company to assess your trees all the time. Here are some of the methods you can use to identify a dead or dying tree and take necessary action early enough.

  1. Signs on the trunk

The trunk of the tree can carry several signs. Make sure that you inspect it properly and you will see vertical cracks if the tree is dying or almost. Another sign related to the trunk of the tree is missing barks. The more critical the condition is, the more the missing barks.

You will also identify cankers around the area of the dead bark.

In addition, upon scratching the trunk, if you notice that there are some parts of the inside of the bark that are brown, then it means that the tree is dead.

  1. Tree physical posture

Looking at the lean angle of your trees can tell you so much about their health. Any other odd shape that is not as a result of something like wind is also a sign of a problem. If the tree has leaned more than 15 degrees from its vertical position, and it is not from wind, the roots are damaged. This can be a sign of a dying tree.

  1. Branches

The branches of a tree carries a lot of information about the general health of the tree. If the tree is shedding leaves during the wrong season then it is a sign. Trees will only loose leaves during the most appropriate season.

Another sign is when the tree is holding dead leaves on it branches. The branches of the tree may also develop weakness around the joints. Especially around the base.

You should also look for brittle or brown leaves especially during growing season.

In case you are not sure about what you are seeing, consulting a tree pruning service company can help.

  1. Examine the roots

When the tree is dying the roots can easily show you. When it is an early stage, you may notice a lean, but the roots may be still dying.

However, if you notice that there are some branches that are sprouting at the tree’s base, then it means some part of the tree is dying.

Roots may also turn slimy which is a sign of death.

  1. Wood Decay

This is not a simple sign to spot since it starts from the inside of the tree. However, if you are carefully you may be able to see spores with a mushroom-like appearance around the stems, roots and branches.

In some cases, you may find out that there are large fungus, ants, or beetles at the base of the tree and other areas which is a sign of a rotting tree or roots.

How to prevent tree death?

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent tree death.

  1. Handle the exposed roots gently
  2. Do not hit your tree with heavy tools especially when working around them
  3. Make sure you prune your trees at the right time.
  4. Prune when required
  5. Make sure to water your trees in drought
  6. Create room for trees to absorb light and breathe

What to do about dead trees?

Dead trees are always dangerous to the environment. A dead tree can easily drop at any time. As a result, it is important to find a tree cutting company to remove the tree before it is too late. Make sure that you seek a reputable company to do the job.


Are dead trees dangerous?

Yes, if a dead tree is left standing they can become dangerous and will eventually fall. If your tree has completely died, it is important to get a professional in to remove it.

How long after a tree dies until it falls?

This will depend on a variety of factors. Once a tree dies the roots that keeps it upright begin to rot. The rate of decay will depend on the type of tree and the presence of moisture. A tree in a desert can stay standing of a decade as the roots take forever to rot, where as a tree in a tropical environment where there is plenty of moisture may fall in a little as 1 – 2 years.

What does dead tree removal cost?

The cost of dead tree removal is $987 on average, but will depend on the size and location of the tree. In general the cost to remove a dead tree is greater than the cost for the same tree when it was alive. This is because the tree is not a lot harder to work with. The timber is tougher to cut through, and it is a lot harder on the equipment. Source:

Can I get a dead tree cut down for free?

The chances are slim. Unless you know someone with a chainsaw who is desperate for firewood this winter, you are out of luck. A professional crew will not go to the trouble and expense of removing a tree just for the fire wood they might get out of it. Even a large tree only really produce a few hundred dollars of fire wood and that’s after it has been dried, split and delivered to the customer.

Will an insurance company pay for removal?

In some cases yes, but if the tree is dead, the likelihood is a lot slimmer. Insurance companies cover tree removal in cases of emergency where a tree has fallen and maybe damaged a car, home or fence. They will pay for the tree to be cut up and the property to be fixed or replaced. The problem is a dead tree is all trees are your responsibility. If the tree were to die then eventually fall, the insurance company will most likely claim negligence on your behalf for not maintaining your tree. They might not even cover the cost of any damage incurred.


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