Is Your Tree Dead Or Dormant?

During the summer months, high temperatures are often accompanied by dry conditions. This high-heat and low-moisture environment is not always the best for trees. To protect themselves, trees will often go into a dormant state to avoid permanent damage. However, trees that have sustained damage and are now dead often mimic similar signs as dormancy. Yet, there are ways to tell the two scenarios apart.

Bark Regeneration

Healthy bark will naturally regenerate as part of the natural growth cycle. Even in a dormant state, the regeneration process will typically continue. On the other hand, when a tree's health begins to decline, its growth rate will similarly decline. As proof of this, you may notice spots on the tree where the bark is missing that remain bare for an extended period. 

A few bare areas mean your tree is unhealthy, but several large areas can mean death is near. It is vital to inspect the tree to save it from death. During the assessment, a tree service professional can help you determine if your tree needs extra nutrients or more water or if there is another issue. 

Root Condition

When it comes to assessing the condition of a tree, the condition of the root will always paint a clear picture. If the tree's roots are exposed, take a quick look at them to determine if they are dormant or dead. Dormancy typically affects the areas of the tree above ground more than the areas below. 

In a dormant state, the trees should be firm and solid. In an unhealthy tree, it is normal to see fungus growth. The presence of fungi should send off alarm bells, as continued growth will cause the roots to crumble and ultimately kill the tree. 

Bud Growth

One of the simpler ways to identify a tree that is dead versus a dormant tree is to look at its buds. Similar to bark regeneration, some level of bud growth is expected with a healthy tree, even if it is dormant. As evidence of this, you will see tiny buds on the tree branches, even if they are not green. 

A bad sign for the tree's health is a lack of buds. A tree that is dying will not produce bud growth. As with the other scenarios, it is vital to contact a tree professional quickly to help save the tree.  

If you are unsure what state your trees are in or have questions about caring for your trees, contact a tree service professional for assistance. For more information, contact a tree service near you.