The Signs You Have a Dying Tree in Your Belleville, IL Yard

From paper to buildings, trees are one of the most important parts of our everyday life. It does not come as a shock that we have a stronger connection to trees than almost any other plant. The death of a flower may go relatively unnoticed, but a dying tree is something we find both sad and alarming.  Just as other creatures and plants do, trees die, and they show some definite signs when they are dying or are already dead. If you think you have a sick or dying tree on your hands, give us a call at Merritt’s Tree Service so we can help nurse them back to health!

Signs That Your Tree Is Dying

The signs that you have a dying tree are many and differ depending on the type of tree. A reduction or lack in the number of leaves produced on all or part of the tree is one major sign. Other signs of a sick and dying tree include the trunk becoming brittle or spongy, limbs dying and falling off or the bark becoming brittle and falling off the tree. Look for some signs of a dying tree in the following areas:


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When a tree is dying, its roots can turn slimy and become a host for insects and funguses. Some of these visitors can include carpenter ants and boring insects, which cause the roots to become brittle and break, allowing the tree to fall over. Another major sign of a sick or dying tree is having knots in its fine fibers.


Places that have little bark are a sign of problems for your tree. Carpenter ants are usually a sign of deadwood and are commonly found on the trunk of dying trees. Rows of holes from these insects are also a sign that the tree is in serious trouble.  Fungus on the trunk is a sign of decaying and deadwood.


When a tree is dying, the bark becomes loose and starts to fall off of the tree. A tree may start to sport fungus or holes where wood-boring insects have made their homes. Brittle bark is also a sign of trouble for your tree. If the bark also has bark beetles, they are a good indicator that your tree is dying.


When a branch dies, it loses all of its bark. A branch that starts to lose its bark is beginning the dying process and needs help. Branches will break off when they are dead, and the tree will start to die if too many branches break off. However, some trees are self-pruning, and the lower branches will fall off even when nothing is wrong with the tree.  The fungus may grow on branches that have died, which indicates that the section of the branch it is on is decaying. Wood-boring insects will also begin to move in when a tree is starting to die. You will know they have moved in when the branches start to have burrowing holes form.


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Evergreen trees never lose all their leaves at once, whereas Deciduous trees lose all their leaves each winter. For Deciduous trees, if their leaves turn brown and brittle during the growing season, then you know the tree is in danger. Yellow leaves on a tree that usually has green leaves are also a sign of a problem arising. If an evergreen tree is sick, it will show brown or red needles and once the top third of the plant has needs that are brown or red, it is dying. Yellow needs are similar however, they show signs of stress for the tree indicating it may be sick or dying.

If your tree, has you wondering if it is dying, the best thing you can do is call us at Merritt’s Tree Service. We specialize in diagnosing trees and helping sick trees get better. Give us a call today for any assistance with ensuring your trees are in their prime condition.