How Do You Know If a Tree is Dead?

Nobody looks forward to having a tree that is dead or dying. Besides being an eyesore on your landscape, it can also create some risks in your property, so it’s important to remove dead trees from your yard as soon as possible. Knowing for sure if you have a tree that is dead can be tricky, especially during the winter months when it seems as if every tree is dead.

How do you know if a tree is dead? When in doubt, call Steven’s Tree Service, an effective Palm Harbor tree company. Our certified arborists can assess if your tree is dead and needs to be removed, but there are some telltale signs you can look for in the meantime.

Signs That Your Tree Is Dead

If you think your tree might be dead, head outside and do a quick inspection to look for these signs.

Dead Branches 

One clear sign that your tree may be dead or dying is bare branches. While bare branches and dead leaves are normal during the fall or winter, bare branches during the spring or summer indicate a dead tree.

Tree Trunk Cracks 

When asking, “how do you know if a tree is dead?” take a look at the tree trunk. Vertical cracks in the trunk indicate damage, a common sign that the tree is in bad shape.  

The Tree Is Leaning 

If the damage to the tree has reached the roots, you may see the tree leaning heavily to one side. This happens because the roots aren’t strong enough to hold the tree upright.

Issues with the Bark

If you look closely at the bark of your tree, you may find that there are areas of smooth wood with no bark. This is sign that something is wrong.

If you suspect the tree may be dead, try scratching off the outer bark. The inner bark should be green. If the inner bark is discolored or brown, you may have a dead tree

Fungus Growth

If you notice fungus growth around the base of the tree trunk, your tree might be dead. If the fungus is on the actual trunk, the inside of the tree is likely rotting.

If you have noticed any of these common signs and suspect you may have a dead tree, it’s important to consider the right questions when removing a tree. Contacting a tree professional as soon as possible to safely handle the removal is crucial.

Why Are Dead Trees Dangerous? 

  • If a tree dies due to disease, not removing the tree can cause the disease to spread to surrounding trees.
  • Dead trees can attract pests, such as termites and rats. 
  • Dead branches could fall at any moment. Large branches falling can damage your property or injure people that may be walking by.
  • If a tree is weak enough, the branches might not be the only thing falling. Weakened trees can also fall on power lines, cars, and houses. Depending on the size of the tree, this can cause serious damage or injury. 

What To Do If You Have a Dead Tree

Dead trees and storm-damaged trees not only take away from the aesthetics of your home, but they can also cause serious damage to your property if you don’t take care of them right away. How do you know if a tree is dead? Look for the signs, like dead branches, a cracked trunk, and fungus growth.

If the signs are all there, it’s time to contact our professionals at Steven’s Tree Service. We’ll help you clean up those dead trees safely. Call us today at 727-734-TREE (8733) for tree service in Palm Harbor, FL.


Stevens Tree Service is the Tampa Bay Area’s #1 choice for residential and commercial tree care services. Our family owned and operated business, is all about you, our customer and what’s best for your trees.


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1334 Spalding Rd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Phone : 727-734-TREE (8733)

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