Free Estimates • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

3808 Old Mountain Road, NE
Roanoke, VA • 540-330-4761

24-HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE – 540-330-4761

How to Tell If It’s a Dead Tree

Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal Asks: What Are the Signs of a Dead Tree?

A tree on your property may not be looking well, but do you know how to tell if it’s a dead tree? One of the most enjoyable parts of spring is watching deciduous trees fill out with leafy foliage. However, if your tree doesn’t leaf out on schedule, you may start to wonder if it’s dead. Here at Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal, our arborists know the signs of a dead tree and how to look for them.

Let us provide you with several signs of a dead tree to look for in your yard. We will also provide information on how to determine if dead tree removal is necessary. Our team of professional arborists is proud to educate our customers on how to tell if a tree is dead.


What Are the Common Signs of a Dead Tree?

You can usually tell when a tree doesn’t look right pretty quickly. Things like brown leaves or mold growth stick out like a sore thumb. The arborists here at Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal always recommend our dead tree removal service. Here a few visual signs of a dead tree:


Fungus Growth

If you see any fungus growing on the tree, that is one of the significant signs of a dead tree. Fungus growing on the tree’s trunk is often an indication of rotted out internals. Because of this, anything beyond the living fungus would be dead as well. Call our team of arborists if you notice fungus growing on your trees.


Tree Trunk Damage

It’s essential to give the tree trunk a thorough visual inspection. If the tree has severe visible damage, it’s more than likely in bad health. Check to see if the tree’s bark has cracks vertically running along the trunk. As trees age, bark will fall off the trunk and grow back if the tree is healthy. Non-healthy trees have smooth areas of wood with no bark covering them.


Check for Bare Branches on the Tree

Examine the tree’s branches to see if they’re abnormally bare. If they are, there’s a good chance the tree is too far gone to save. A diseased tree with half-bare and half-full branches could become lopsided and eventually fall due to weight. A deciduous tree with leaves clinging onto the branches is probably dead as well.


Track Down Any Damaged Roots

An initial sign that the tree’s roots may have damaged is if the tree appears to be leaning toward one side. This red flag means that the roots aren’t strong enough to keep the tree directly upright. Other things like excavation projects, new construction, shallow systems, and extreme element exposure can also affect a tree’s roots. When a tree’s roots become damaged, the rest of the tree will soon follow suit.


Does the Tree Pass the Scratch or Break Test?

Another one of the major signs of a dead tree is the scratch or break test. The scratch test is an easy way to determine a tree’s health. Scratch the outside of a tree’s branch using a small knife; if the inside is green and moist, the tree is healthy. The break test is the same thing, except instead of scratching, you attempt to break the branch to check the inside. If the interior is green and moist, it passes the test.


If you notice any signs of a dead tree in your yard, it’s essential to call your local arborist as soon as possible. Leaving dead trees alone could pose a severe danger to your home and those around you. According to Bob Vila, “Homeowners can save sick trees, but a dead tree can pose a risk to your home.” Trees may fall or large branches could break off, injuring passersby or falling on buildings, vehicles, or other structures.


How to Determine if Dead Tree Removal is Necessary

More often than not, homeowners should call their local arborist if they notice signs of a dead tree. Here are some ways our team of well-trained arborists determine if tree removal is necessary:

  • Determine if removing the tree could benefit the health of the nearby trees.
  • If 50 percent of the tree is damaged, it’s best to get rid of it.
  • Trees in a remote area can stay.
  • It’s best to immediately clear away trees near hazardous conditions due to safety concerns.


Tip: Regular tree maintenance such as pruning and treatment for diseases and pests can improve the health of your trees.


We Offer 24/7 Dead Tree Removal Service in Roanoke, VA

Dead tree removal can be potentially dangerous to your home and a daunting task to do by yourself. Why not leave it to the professionals? Here at Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal, our arborists proudly provide dead tree removal service to Roanoke, VA, and surrounding areas. Dead and diseased trees are nothing to play guessing games with since they can pose a severe safety hazard. Our team of highly-trained arborists will get to your home quickly to perform dead tree removal and clean up. Please visit our tree removal service page to learn more.



Do you know how to tell if it’s a dead tree? Give Mark’s Tree & Stump Removal a call at (540) 330-4761. Our team of arborists in the Roanoke area has vast experience in the tree service industry. We are happy to educate customers on how to tell if it’s a dead tree.