How to Tell if a Tree on Your Property is Dead or Dying and How to React

You’d think that spotting a dead tree is quite obvious, however it’s not always as straight forward as you might think. And, if you leave it too long, a dead or dying tree can fall over and cause some serious damage, particularly if it’s near a property or worse, either you or one of your family members are nearby in that eventuality. 

For your peace of mind, we have put together a couple of tell-tale signs so that you can examine a tree yourself if you have your suspicions. Ultimately though, you’ll always be best off calling a professional out to examine the tree properly, as although it might look beyond saving, in some cases with a little TLC, you can turn it around and save the tree altogether. 

1 – Look for Leaning 

If your tree is starting to lean, it’s safe to say that it’s not being nosey and trying to peer through your windows, and that in actual fact it might be on its way out. While many trees lean naturally if yours hasn’t in the past and is starting to quite drastically then it’s time to call the professionals.

In this situation we would not advise that you attempt to remove the tree yourself as it will be hard to judge how unstable the tree has become. You don’t want to risk injury or damage to your property, so wait for the experts to arrive.

2 – Quality of the Trunk 

A good indicator of a dead or dying tree is that condition that the trunk is in. If there are large areas of bark which have rotten away, and areas inside the trunk itself which have hollowed out rather extensively, then it might be time to say goodbye. While cavities in a tree don’t necessarily mean that the tree is dead and should be removed, it’s definitely worth calling in an expert opinion. 

3 – Look to the Roots 

The base of the tree is another part which requires close inspection if you have your suspicions. Any tree roots which are visibly dead, or decaying is a clear indication that the structural integrity of the tree has been compromised and that it is at risk of falling. Again, don’t leave any room for error and call for help immediately. A reputable tree firm would much rather come out and inspect the tree on your behalf, rather than have you attempt to remove it on your own and have an accident. It’s always worth waiting for the professionals who have the correct equipment, training and experience to handle the situation safely and with consideration.

There’s no shame in calling for assistance, particularly with so much at stake. The last thing you need is a giant tree falling through the side of your house and taking up all the space in your living room! 

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