Is Your Tree Dead? What Do You Do About It?

Trees are long-lived, especially when compared to other plants. However, they do not last forever. If you have mature trees on your land, it is important to keep an eye on them so you can tell when they died and take action accordingly. Here's a closer look at how you can do that.

How to Tell a Tree Is Dead

If a tree loses all of its leaves and begins to look overly dry and crumbly, then it's almost certainly dead. But sometimes, especially soon after a tree has died, it's not this obvious. Here are some other key signs a tree has died or is almost dead.

  • Deep cracks in the bark of the trunk.

  • Small branches are falling off and tumbling to the ground.

  • Few leaves left, and no leaves on some branches.

  • Fungal bodies growing from the trunk.

  • The wood beneath the bark is brown, not green, when sliced with a knife.

What to Do About a Dead Tree

The best thing to do about a dead tree is to have it removed. In most cases, you'll want to have this done by a professional tree removal service. Taking down a tree requires skill and equipment. It's far too easy for the tree to fall in the wrong direction, or for a large branch to fall off, causing injury. This is especially a concern when the tree has been dead for a while and the wood is brittle. Professionals have the knowledge and skill to take down a dead tree safely.

Don't put off removing the tree any longer than necessary. Many dead trees are either infected with dangerous fungi or will soon be overtaken by these fungi. The longer you leave the dead tree in place, the more chance these infectious organisms have to spread to other, nearby trees.

The longer you wait to remove the tree, the more chances it will have to fall on or drop branches on your structures or yard. Wait too long, and you may have to pay for tree removal and roof repair, for instance.

You may live in your home for decades and never have a tree die, or you may have multiple trees die within a short period. What's important is that you know how to recognize a dead tree and who to call when you suspect a tree has died. Keep the number of a tree removal company on hand. For more information on residential tree removal services, contact a company near you.