How to Tell if Your Trees Are Dead or Dormant

As a homeowner, you know that the trees on your property do more than make your landscaping look well-put-together. They add value to your property and can help you save on your cooling bills during the summer. But during the winter and early spring months, it’s normal to wonder if your trees are still alive. Your Denver tree trimming team is here to help. Here’s how to tell if your trees are dead or dormant after winter.

What Dormancy Is and Why It’s Important
Dormancy happens when the tree slows its natural growth by effectively slowing its metabolism. For most species of tree, this happens in late fall and into the winter months to help conserve energy. During this time, trees typically need less water and are less reliant on the nutrients in the soil to survive. Once the growing season begins, your tree will recover and produce new growth. 

Dormancy can leave your trees looking dead even though they’re healthy and thriving. They’ll drop their leaves, slow their growth, and avoid producing new leaves and blooms until the weather improves.

How to Tell if Your Tree is Dormant or Dead
Since dormant trees can look almost identical to dead trees, knowing how to tell them apart can help you better understand when it’s time to schedule a tree removal appointment. Here are a few ways to check your trees.

Check the pliancy of the branches: When trees are alive, their branches are incredibly flexible. They’ll bend under pressure and bounce back to their original shape. If the tree is dead, the branch will likely break under strain.
Inspect the inner bark: Living trees will have green wood underneath the outer bark. Dead trees will have brown layers that are typically dry and brittle.
Watch for fungus: Living dormant trees can often deal with fungi like mushrooms and some molds without letting them build up around the root systems. Dead or dying trees often develop visible mushroom and mold growth at the base of their trunks.

What to Do If You’re Worried About Your Trees
If you believe that your trees are struggling or are concerned that they’re dead rather than dormant, don’t ignore it. Schedule an appointment with your tree care team and let them do a full risk assessment. They’ll be able to determine if your trees are dormant or if they’re dying. And if they identify dead trees on your property, they’ll be able to come up with a plan to remove those trees safely so you can keep the rest of your landscaping looking great year-round.

Let Root Tree Service Help
If you’re worried about the trees on your property or are fairly confident that your dormant trees are actually dying, don’t wait. Contact Root Tree Service today to schedule an inspection. Our experienced plant health care team can assess the condition of your trees and, if necessary, come up with a treatment plan to help your trees recover from the stress of winter. And if you have dead trees on your property, we can safely remove them.
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