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How to Know if a Tree is Dead?

To help you tell if a tree is dead or not, we’ve put together a few common things that one can do in order to check.

More often than not, people will call to have a tree removed believing that it is dead and can no longer serve a purpose.  Many a time, we find that a lot of these trees are indeed alive and haven’t passed on.  Making the distinction between a tree being alive or dead is really important if your sole purpose of having it removed is because you believe it to be dead.

What to look for to see if a tree is dead?

The Scratch Method

Scratch the bark.  Yes, that’s right.  The scratching of the bark test is one of the most common ways to tell if a tree has died or not.  When doing this though, try not to make a giant wound in the tree.  We’re just trying to remove some bark, and then scratching the wood beneath it.  If you scratch it and notice some green flesh below, then it’s pretty safe to say that the tree lives.

If you do the scratch method to a branch and it doesn’t yield any results, keep in mind that perhaps it’s only that specific branch which has died and not the entire tree.

What happens if there are lots of dead branches but the trunk is still green?

If this is the case, then your tree may be suffering from a disease.  The best way to fix this would be to get an arborist to have a look at the tree.  An arborist should be able to determine where the tree is affected and remove the branches that are either dead or disease ridden.

Sometimes all a tree needs is a little bit of attention and by the next year’s season, it’ll be looking a whole lot better.  If you’re feeling confident enough to prune back your tree to remove the dead branches then do take care.  A lot of people will actually need the assistance of an arborist to perform pruning on their tree. If this is the case, then feel free to get in contact with Treeman Melbourne.  Our professional arborists and team of tree pruners are very well seasoned at looking after your trees.  For more information on our tree pruning services, feel free to visit our Melbourne Tree Pruning page HERE.