How to Tell if Tree Is Dying: 10 Signs to Watch For

Do you want to know how to tell if a tree is dying? If so, read on while Urban Jacks Tree Service, the experts in Hot Springs, AR, tree health care, delve deeper into this fascinating topic. 

Signs that a Tree Is Dying

Dying trees are very easy to spot if you know the signs to look for. Keep reading to learn more about the 10 signs your tree may be dying. 

1. Shedding Twigs and Branches

Healthy trees lose the odd twig or branch in a storm or heavy wind. Dying or dead trees drop twigs and branches all the time. One sure sign of an issue is if there are branches all over the ground. 

2. Shedding Bark

Shedding bark can indicate tree disease, malnutrition, or distress. Whatever the cause, it is a significant sign that the tree is in trouble. The bark is the tree’s primary protective layer, so if it doesn’t naturally shed this outer skin, the tree is battling.

3. Signs of Tree Disease or Rot

Tree fungus takes a while to kill the tree, so seeing it does not mean your tree is dying. However, ignoring the issue will prove fatal and can spread to other healthy plants. Check for abnormal growth and fungi on the tree bark or around the roots. Rot is another sign that the tree is dying.

4. A Tilting Tree

Trees may not grow completely straight, but if it’s suddenly leaning to one side, the end is near. This tilting is usually a sign of significant root damage and that the tree is overbalancing.

5. Large Open Wounds

Trees are resilient but can die due to significant wounds. A vertical split in the trunk or a cut-off branch are examples of nasty wounds from which the tree cannot heal. They’re an excellent sign of how to tell if a tree is dying.

6. No Leaves

Or, more accurately, no leaves or dead leaves at the wrong time of year. Leaves are necessary for the tree to create energy. If you notice leaf drop during the growing season, there is a serious issue.

7. Termites or Other Pests

It is possible to contain insect infestations if you catch them in time. Unfortunately, the damage may only be noticeable when it is too far advanced. If the damage is structural or the infestation is out of control, removing the tree is the best course of action. 

8. Fragile Branches

Healthy branches are somewhat flexible and able to resist bending to a point. Branches and twigs that snap easily are dead. If a strong wind knocks many of the twigs off the tree, there’s a good chance that it is dying.

9. Root Damage

Root damage to more than 40% of the root system will usually kill the tree. This type of damage is common during construction projects where contractors leave the trees damaged on-site. In some cases, the injury is minor, and the tree recovers. However, if too many feeder or structural roots die, the tree will, too.

10. Dead Branches 

If the branches are fragile, perform a scratch test in several areas. If there is no green layer inside the bark, the tree is dead or dying already. You’ll likely notice that there are no leaves and many branches falling off as well. 

Call the Professionals for Assistance

Now that you know how to tell if a tree is dying, you understand that holes in trees seldom bode well. Contact Urban Jacks Tree Service at (501) 547-4018 to schedule service to develop a removal strategy for your dying trees. 


Urban Jacks Tree Service is your full
service tree care company from
Hot Springs to Malvern, AR.

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5 Sanchez Way,
Hot Springs Village,
AR 71909

Phone :  (501) 494-1363
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