When assessing your property for any tree issues, it can sometimes be challenging, at a glance, to discern a dead tree from one that is simply dormant. What does a dead tree look like? Sure, a tell-tale sign is no leaves, but deciduous trees, like maples or birches, lose leaves every year. Evergreens, like pines and firs, never lose their needles. These two common types of trees provide us with shade, oxygen, and some beautiful scenery, but as seasons change and years pass, disease and the elements take their toll. Dead tree cutting is a necessity, especially when it comes to safety on your property.
Now, let’s dive a little deeper and learn the difference between dead and dormant trees.
What does a dead tree look like and how will you know when it’s time to act?
Whether or not a tree is leafing is the most obvious sign, but some trees don’t bud leaves until late summer. This can be due to a couple of factors. Some tree varieties are just late bloomers. But the most common reason for late blooming is weather. Early fall freezes or even spring snow storms can slow down a tree’s cycle for the year, along with drought or extreme heat. When a tree does start dying, its leaves will actually cling to the branches in the winter. So, if it’s snowing in December, and you see brown, cracked leaves still on your deciduous tree, you may have to start thinking about some dead tree cutting services for your home or business.
The trunk of the tree is the next place you should look. Large sections of bark peeling off the trunk is a sign that your tree may be dying. Another tell to look for would be rot. Commonly called heart rot, it’s a fungal infection in a tree that causes deterioration and weakening of the circulatory system within your tree. Surprisingly, a hollowed out trunk is not part of what a dead tree actually does look like. A trunk that’s been hollowed out can still thrive and grow in most cases.
As we work our way to the bottom of the tree, we get to its roots. The roots are responsible for soaking up all the water and nutrients the tree needs to survive. If those get compromised, you may have an answer to “what does a dead tree look like?” If you’re seeing a large amount of mushrooms at the base, chances are you may need to consult with an expert to check for rot issues. Another sign in the roots would be lift. If the roots are lifted from the soil, then the tree has rot or has been significantly damaged. We’re not talking about roots growing above ground, but roots that are separated from the soil and no longer firmly “rooted” in the soil.
A dormant tree is what tree service specialists call a tree in “hibernation”. Deciduous trees lose leaves with seasons, and this occurs as the tree begins its process of hibernation by cutting off nutrients to the leaves and storing it inside more important parts, like the roots and branches. But how do you know if a tree is dormant, or if you’ll need to do some dead tree cutting or trimming?
This is the simplest and easiest way to decipher between a dead and dormant tree. Find a small branch or twig on your tree, take a sharp knife or blade, and cut into the wood, peeling the protective bark back. If it’s firm and green, then your tree is just dormant. If it’s brown/gray and brittle, chances are, it’s dead.
When trying to discover what a dead tree does look like or what a dormant tree is, it’s important to remember that trees need care and often need to be handled by professionals. Dead branches can be hazardous to homes, cars, neighbors, and your family. At Gutierrez & Sons we have experienced and trusted crews who know how to solve your tree problems–whatever they may be. We’re licensed, bonded, and insured, so you can trust that you’ll get professional service for a great value.
Schedule your free estimate today!