When Is a Tree Considered Dead in Akron, OH?

Customers of Petrarca Landcare Inc. often ask our experts, “When is a tree considered dead?” The answer is more complex than it might appear. Read on to learn more about how the top professionals for tree removal in Akron, Ohio, determine whether trees are dead.

when is a tree considered dead

Dead Trees Should Be Removed

First, it’s important to know that a dead tree should be removed as it presents a serious hazard to people and property. Dead branches can fall anytime, regardless of the weather or wind conditions. Large limbs or trunks can injure or kill people or animals or cause severe damage to buildings, power lines, fences, or any other structure. Removing a dead tree also presents an excellent opportunity to plant new healthy trees to protect and preserve your property’s environment.  

Is Your Tree Dead or Dormant?

Most trees are dormant during the cold, in the later months of autumn, and through winter. During these periods of inactivity, trees do not typically show signs of life that are apparent during the spring and summer. Here are some things we look for that indicate when a tree is dead rather than simply dormant. 

Examine the Tree’s Crown for Early Buds

As dormancy ends, trees begin producing new buds at the crown, signaling the start of spring growth. Each species has its bud shapes and colors, and comparing individual trees of the same species can indicate whether one tree has died when others nearby are budding. 

Snap-Snatch Test During Dormancy 

Trees should still show a green cambium under their bark during dormancy. Cambium is a tissue layer below the bark that looks and feels fresh and green even during cold weather. The snap-snatch test involves cutting a small hole in the tree’s trunk to examine the cambium.

If areas of bark are missing and the exposed tissue looks worn and smooth instead of grainy and living, there is a good chance the tree is dying.  

Examine Root Systems and Surrounding Soil

Root damage or disease is a common cause of tree death. We examine tree roots by digging back a small amount of topsoil. Diseased roots often show evidence of fungus or damage. Exposed fungi or mushrooms growing around the base of a tree’s trunk are also evidence that death and decomposition may have already begun. 

If a fungal infection attacks a living tree, you should discuss other problems and possible solutions with the arborists at Petrarca Landcare Inc.

Look for Damage on the Trunk

Some damage is not hard to see — for example, lighting damage or significant splits where substantial branches have broken away. Subtler signs of serious health problems include missing bark resulting from fungal disease or fresh-looking cracks or breaks. 

Some tree species exfoliate or shed their bark more regularly than others. Peeling bark can signify death or decay in some species, and you should discuss the circumstances with a tree expert. Evidence of peeling bark that completely encircles a tree’s trunk is called girdling. That level of bark loss is a strong factor in answering the question, “When is a tree considered dead?”

Contact Northeast Ohio’s Tree Experts at Petrarca Landcare Inc. for Complete Tree Services

If you need help from a professional arborist and have concerns about when a tree is considered dead, rely on the trusted team of experts at Petrarca Landcare Inc. Our team has the experience and equipment for established tree removal, pruning, or trimming. We also assist landowners with tree health and planning for future tree planting.

Call (330) 933-0562 to schedule a consultation and learn about the benefits of working with a licensed and insured expert arborist.

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