How to Tell if Your Tree Is Dead This Winter

March 11, 2019 9:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Determining whether or not your tree is dead in the middle of the summer is relatively simple. If its leaves are all gone and the branches look frail, you can bet that if it’s not already dead, it will be soon. This task is a little bit more difficult in the winter, though, since deciduous trees shed their leaves, leaving perfectly healthy trees with barren-looking branches and trunks.

The good news is that we’re here to help! Continue reading to learn about a few of the signs that your tree has die and it’s time to call someone for tree removal in Newton, MA:

  • Look for budding life: Believe it or not, your tree can still have tiny leaf buds in the middle of winter. Get up close and see if your tree has any, and if it does, it’ll be ready to bloom again in the spring. On the other hand, if your tree has multiple branches with zero buds or shriveled buds, it may be a sign that your tree is dead or dying.
  • Inspect the trunk: Just like the leaves, bark grows and replaces itself continuously throughout the tree’s life. Even though this process is slower in the winter, it still happens. Check to see if there’s any fresh bark on the tree trunk. If you can spot fresh bark, you’re good to go, but if the tree’s bark has shed and hasn’t grown back in, something’s clearly amiss.
  • Perform the scratch test: Get out a pocketknife or use your fingertip to scratch a section of a twig. The layer immediately underneath the outer layer should be moist and green. A dead or dying tree will have a brown layer underneath. Try this test on a couple of different twigs, just to be sure whether or not your tree needs help.

I think my tree is dead—now what?

The last thing you want to do with a dead tree is just let it sit there untouched. Here are your next steps after you’ve determined that your tree has died:

  • Call for a proper inspection: Even though you may have performed the tests above, that doesn’t mean your tree is actually dead. We recommend calling an arborist to have it professionally inspected. A trained pro will be able to tell unequivocally whether your tree is dead, dying or just dormant for the winter. If the tree is just sick, and not yet dead, an arborist can help it get started along the road to recovery.
  • Have it removed: The last thing you want to do is let a dead tree sit around in your yard. A dead tree looks terrible, its branches are liable to fall at any time and it could potentially spread disease to other trees and plants on your property. Call a professional to remove the tree before one of the branches falls on your house!

Whether you just think your tree is dead or you know it’s dead and you need tree removal in Newton, MA, be sure to choose BBD Tree Service. We’re a trusted team in town for every type of tree service you can imagine.

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