snapped branch

Determining whether you have a diseased, dying or dead tree doesn’t have to be a guessing game. In fact, you can find out if a tree is healthy simply by performing a few simple visual tests.

It’s important to check the health of the trees on your property regularly; it’ll help prevent decaying or dead trees from falling and causing damage to your home and other structures.

How to Tell if Your Tree is Sick, Dying or Dead

Assessing the Bark

The first step is to inspect the bark of the tree. If you spot a “wound” in it — a spot that looks carved out or is exposing the inside of the tree — this can be a sign of decay or tree rot. Furthermore, if you notice fungus, this is definitely a sign of a rotting — and dying — tree. Are there visible cracks in the bark of the tree? This is a sign that the tree is becoming unstable in the current weather conditions. A tree that shows signs of instability, rot or decay should be removed from the property immediately.

Testing the Twigs and Branches

Twigs and branches can also be observed to determine the health of a tree. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove a small twig from a branch and break it open.
  2. Look at the inside. What color is it? If it’s bright green, it’s extremely healthy. If it’s a dull green, it’s still alive, but it’s showing signs of aging and poor vigor. If it’s brown or black, the branch you took it from is dead.

If the twig broke easily from the tree and feels lightweight, the branch you took it from is considered to be deadwood. Deadwood is an indication that the tree is dying. To determine the extent of the damage, break a few more twigs from various spots of the tree and perform the same test. If a large number of the branches are brown and break easily, the tree is already dead and should be removed from the property.

Performing the “Scratch” Test

If you have a large tree with out-of-reach branches, you could perform the “scratch” test instead. Simply scrape away enough of the bark to reveal the wood beneath it. Again, check the color of the wood to determine if the tree is in the process of dying or if it’s already dead.

If you have a tree that has multiple trunks, though, you’ll need to check each trunk to determine the health of the tree.

Tree Removal Services in Atlanta

If there is a dying, dead, or structurally compromised tree on your property, don’t try to cut it down yourself. Call a professional to remove the dead tree from your property. Hiring a certified tree removal specialist in Atlanta will ensure that the tree comes down without harming you, your family, or any of the structures on your property.

Here at Yellow Ribbon Tree, we know how to remove trees without causing bodily harm or damage to your property. If you live in Atlanta and need a tree removed from your yard, call us at (770) 512-TREE for a free estimate today.