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Sick Tree 101: 3 Signs That Your Tree Is Dying Or Dead

Rarely does a tree get sick and perish over the course of days or weeks. The process usually takes months; it may even take years or decades for a tree to succumb to whatever ails it. However, as a tree dies, it continuously gets weaker, which could cause it to topple over during windy conditions. And since a falling tree could take you or your house out with it, it's always a good idea to inspect its condition and have it removed before it becomes a danger to you or your property.

Following are three signs your tree is dying or dead:

3. Foliage Reduction

While it's natural for most trees to lose all their leaves in the fall, they're not supposed to lose them during the spring and summer months. If you notice a great deal of leaves on the ground around your tree, there is probably something wrong.

It could be diseased or it could be harboring certain pests. Since defoliation usually occurs early in the dying process, you might be able to figure out what's wrong with your tree and fix it in time to save it. 

2. Dead Wood

Do you know how to tell if the wood of your tree is dead or alive? There is an easy method that you can help you figure it out. First, you can snap a branch off of your tree. Don't use the ones that have fallen on the ground, because they are probably already dead. Scratch away a portion of the bark and look to see if the limb is green underneath. If it is, your tree is still alive. 

1. Rot and Decay

After something dies, it begins to rot and decay. The same is true of trees. If you notice rot and decay around the base of your tree or if there are soft spots anywhere on the trunk of your tree, it is already dead. Other signs of decay include crumbling and cracking anywhere on the trunk of the tree. 

Keep in mind that some trees can be brought back from the brink of death by an arborist or someone else who is knowledgeable about trees.

Your local extension office might also be able to help you identify what ails your dying tree. If the condition is treatable and you catch it early enough, you might be able to save your tree and avoid having to have it cut down. To learn more, contact a company like Vandervort Tree Service with any questions you have.