leafless tree under cloudy sky during daytime

How to Tell if a Tree Is Dead

You need to know if you have a declining tree or a tree that is dead. Typically, sick trees could be saved. But a dead tree has a very high risk to your home and you. They could fall and cause a lot of damage to you and your property.

You can know if that tree close to you is dead by the following ways:

  • If there are cracks on the peeling bark or in the trunk.
  • If mushrooms are growing near the root of the tree
  • If multiple branches don’t have any living bud

Signs of a Dead Tree

Dead trees have noticeable signs which you can see. For instance, apart from the fact that their branches aren’t leafing out, you might notice issues with their trunk or some growth that isn’t familiar that’s close to the roots of the tree.

If you feel or suspect that something is wrong, you could keep your eyes out and check out if there might be symptoms you’re missing.

Ways to Test if Your Tree Is Dead

You could reduce the risk you face from a dead tree by doing the following tests:

  • You could use the fingertips or try using a pocket knife, scratch one of the tree’s twigs. If you notice it was moist or some green underneath, this means your tree is alive.

If you notice that your tree is brittle or brown, you could use the following steps to inspect if the tree is dead;

  • You should try scratching a little bit or more twigs to see if there’s any fresh green around.
  • Check around the tree if any fungi or mushrooms are growing at the base of the tree.
  • Check the tree’s trunk and see if there are any splits, cracks, or barks peeling.
  • Check out the canopy for branches that hangs or missing leaves.

If you notice that you can find all of these listed above on the tree, then you could state that the tree is dead.

You need to call your arborist immediately to look at the tree and remove it as quickly as possible. Also recommend you find an arborist who will use a PTO wood chipper to repurpose the tree material for other landscaping purposes.


You might have an excellent tree either in your backyard or in the park. The tree might be loved by both you and your family. But one day, you go close to your tree to either use it to have fun by swinging around the tree or playing hide and seek, and you notice that the tree is looking off, looking pale and brown.

You cut some parts, and you notice there aren’t any greens there, you notice the leaves are all wilted and not alive, and then there are various bacteria and fungi close to the roots. These are all telltale signs that that beautiful tree of yours is dead. You need to do the next best thing, call or get people to get rid of the tree.

You need to get rid of the tree as soon as possible because you don’t want the dead tree to hurt either you or one of your loved ones around. So by doing this, you would be saving the tree because when something dies, it needs to move on, and you’ll be saving yourself and your loved ones by preventing them from getting hurt by the dead tree.

Yes, dead trees can hurt people because they could fall and hit anyone in their path if left in the ground. They should be removed by an arborist or someone close by to prevent any further damage.