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Can a Dead Tree Be Saved?

Have a potentially problematic tree on your property? Trying to save a dead tree that was once thriving? There are many reasons you may want to save or remove a tree on your land. The question is – what are your options? Read on to learn if a dead tree can be saved.

Dead Tree vs. Dying Tree

It’s important to distinguish between a dead tree and a dying tree. If the tree is truly dead, there is no way to bring it back to life. However, most trees that appear dead at first glance still have a viable living core. So, can a dead tree be saved? No. But that doesn’t mean your tree can’t be saved.

Signs of a Dying Tree or Dead Tree

If you’re worried about a tree on your property, here are some signs it may be dying:

  • Limited or no healthy leaves during blooming season. Sometimes it may look like only a portion of the tree is blooming, while the rest of the tree still looks like sticks. Other times, you may notice a tree that has previously bloomed every year isn’t blooming at all.
  • Dead branches. Falling branches are common in the winter months, but they shouldn’t occur much during the rest of the year. If you’ve seen weak, falling or completely dead branches on your tree, it may be time for an inspection.
  • Widespread pests and disease. Healthy trees can fend for themselves. Dying trees become a breeding ground for pests and disease. These invaders take over the tree and continue weakening it throughout.
  • Splits in the bark. Have you seen vertical lines along the bark or missing chunks of bark? This could be a sign that the tree is dying, and it can also create a pathway for more damage in the future.
  • The tree is leaning. A leaning tree is often a sign of a weakened structure. The tree doesn’t have the strength to stand vertical any longer, which could become a major safety hazard.
  • No green from a scratch test. You can use a knife or even your fingernail to dig into the brown outer layer of the tree. The layer below it should be green. If the tree is dead or dying, that layer may be brown instead.

The signs of tree damage vary by age and species. These issues may suggest that the tree cannot be saved, but in many cases, they can be treated or reversed. The arborists and tree specialists here at Berns Landscaping can help you decide if your tree can be saved.

What Causes Trees to Die?

There are many reasons a tree may die, including disease, persistent wind stress, soil erosion, insects and pests, pollution, soil compaction, weather and environmental factors, such as nearby construction or airborne issues. Most of these circumstances are beyond your control, but you can take steps to protect your tree early on.

Does a Dead Tree Have to Be Removed?

Dead and dying trees can be safety concerns, especially if they are near a building or an area where people frequent. If a large branch or, even worse, the entire tree falls down, it can lead to extensive injury or property damage. At minimum, you should have the tree evaluated by an arborist to see what the risks are in your specific circumstances. If the tree cannot be saved, it will likely need to be removed for safety.

Get a Professional Tree Inspection to See If the Tree Can Be Saved

Berns Landscaping has a certified arborist on staff, along with a dedicated crew of tree specialists. We provide winter tree services, disease prevention, dormant tree pruning, emergency tree care, and much more. If you’d like a professional tree inspection to preserve or remove a tree on your property, please call (586) 756-1145. We serve the Detroit Metro and surrounding areas, including Oakland County, Wayne County and Macomb County MI.

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