How To Tell If a Tree Is Dead in Statesville, NC

May 12, 2024

A dead tree will often show apparent symptoms of tree decline. While you should always hire a certified arborist to inspect your tree regularly, it also helps to know the signs of tree death so you can take proactive steps.  

As the go-to contractor for tree removal in Statesville, NC, the Ed Brooks Tree Service crew delves deeper into tree health indicators and how to tell if a tree is dead.   

Lack of Foliage  

If your tree doesn’t have leaves when others have leafed out in the spring or summer, it could be dead, in poor health, or dying.   

Similarly, if you have a deciduous tree, excluding oak, beech, ironwood, or hornbeam, which retains some leaves in winter or autumn, it might be dead. In any case, foliage concerns don’t always signify tree death, so you must look for additional evidence.  

Trunk Damage  

A tree with bark stripped away entirely around it won’t survive. Even bark damage to the main trunk that covers half the tree increases the chance of death.  

Vertical Cracks  

While not always a definite symptom of tree death, large splits or vertical cracks may indicate and, if paired with other signs, almost certainly point to a dying or dead tree. Call an arborist if you notice a large split, as they may find ways to save the tree.  

Knowing how to tell if a tree is dead can help you determine whether it requires removal or salvaging. If removal becomes inevitable, consider the benefits of planting new trees

Fungus Growth  

You typically shouldn’t worry when fungi attack dead tissue on an otherwise healthy tree. The problem arises when fungi attack live tissue.  

Stay alert for the presence of fungi, especially bracket or shelf fungus, on an unhealthy tree, as it could indicate rotting. When you notice numerous fungi in the ground area around the tree, the roots may have started to rot away, which may eventually cause sudden leaning.  

Quick Test To Confirm a Tree’s Health  

Detecting dead wood helps with identifying dead trees. The following snap-snatch test can help you check if you have a dead or dormant tree:  

  • Use a sharp knife to scratch a limb or branch and see if it’s green underneath in several areas  
  • Check for physical damage to the tree  
  • Check for shelf or ground fungus  

A green cambium layer shows proof of life, while a dry layer underneath the bark, evidence of rot fungus, or any physical damage points to a dead tree. Always get a second opinion from a certified arborist.  

Trust Your Local Tree Care Experts  

Now that you know how to tell if a tree is dead, trust our certified arborists at Ed Brooks Tree Service to conduct a tree vitality assessment and recommend the best way forward.   

With over 30 years of demonstrated professional work, we specialize in comprehensive tree care, offering the following professional tree services:  

  • Tree removal  
  • Tree trimming and pruning  
  • Plant healthcare  
  • Stump grinding  

Don’t hesitate to contact Ed Brooks Tree Service at (704) 528-3007 for a complimentary quote for tree services in Statesville, North Carolina.  

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