How to Tell If a Tree Is Dying: What Are the Signs to Look For?

Trees have a lifespan of anywhere from 50 years to 5,000 years. This all depends on the species.

Despite how long they can live, they eventually do die and need to be removed. 

You may not know how to tell if a tree is dying, as it is not something everyone knows. Knowing how to tell though is beneficial, as then you will know when something needs to be done about it.

Continue reading to learn how to tell if a tree in your yard is dying and what to do about it.

Cracks in Trunk and Peeling Bark

As a tree gets older, it may crack and peel a little. If the tree is dying, there will be a significant amount of peeling and cracking.

Sometimes peeling and cracks happen due to different environmental factors. If your tree has no other signs of it dying and the bark underneath is healthy, then it is not dying.

If the tree does have other signs of a dying tree though, then it is dying.

Brown and Dry Underneath Bark

Underneath any bark, peeling or not, there is a way to tell if the tree is healthy and alive.

If you use a knife and scrape off the top layer of bark and the underneath layer is green, then your tree is healthy. A dying tree will have a brown and brittle layer when scraped.

Very Few Healthy Leaves

All trees have a certain growing season every year, this all depends on the species of tree

If your tree seems to have very few healthy leaves year-round, that is a sign your tree is dying. Dying trees will only have dead and brittle leaves stuck to the branches.

A healthy tree will have green leaves on branches and the growing season will go about as it is supposed to.

Copious Amount of Dead Branches

While dead branches are a sign of a dying tree, it all depends on the number of branches that are dead.

Healthy trees can have dead branches here and there, but if you see a bunch of them then that is not a good sign.

Tree pruning is a good way to keep your tree healthy and get rid of any dead branches. This is also important because dead branches can fall, being dangerous for anyone that may walk underneath the tree.

How to Tell if a Tree Is Dying: What Next?

Now, you know the signs of how to tell if a tree is dying and unfortunately you have discovered these signs appearing on your tree. What do you do now? What tree service in Lewisburg, TN should I choose?

Here at Volunteer Tree Company, we offer tree removal and land clearing which will help you get rid of this tree. Removal is important because a dead tree will eventually fall over and puts you at risk of getting injured.

For your tree service needs, contact us and we will be happy to help.


We serve anyone in need of tree removal, trimming, stump grinding, or land clearing.

Contact Us

1367 Verona Caney Rd
Lewisburg, TN 37091

Phone:(931) 637-5487


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