6 Signs that a Tree is Dying


Are you concerned about the health of your trees? Do you notice discoloration, dead branches, or other signs indicating a possible problem? If so, this blog post is for you! We’ll be covering the 6 most common signs that a tree is dying and what to do about it. Read on to learn more!

Lack of Leaves

Signs of a dying tree are all too easy to spot—from withered leaves and discolored spots, to an abnormal lean or bend. If any of these symptoms are present, it’s essential to take immediate action in order to preserve the tree’s health. To mitigate further harm, inspect the roots and any other potential issues. With the right steps taken quickly, you can help ensure that your tree enjoys prolonged vigor and well-being.

Root Damage

Tree damage can be tricky to detect, but thinning foliage and feeble yearly development are telltale signs. Other symptoms may include miniscule, yellow leaves, perished branches and brown, wilting leaves during the summertime.

When investigating the root structure, watch out for ones that have been exposed to the elements: most trees’ roots dwell near the surface of the soil. A lopsided tree with either sparse or no branches on one side could signal a root issue or an infection from insect pests.

An arborist from Proficient Tree Care is your best bet when it comes to providing the appropriate remedy for the dying tree.

No Leaves or Buds During the Growing Season

In the presence of spring and summertime, a thriving tree is sure to display lush greenery and succulent buds. But if all you can see are withered, dry twigs without any sign of life, then that’s a clear-cut symptom that the tree is no longer receiving the vital nutrients and water it needs to thrive. Put plainly, a lifeless tree means your beloved sapling is on its last legs.

Yellow and Brown Leaves

If you notice your tree is turning brown at the tips or has yellow or red hues, these can be clues that the tree is stressed or in decline. During the growing season, if your trees have thin leaves, poor annual growth, undersized and yellow leaves, dead branches, and wilted brown leaves, it’s likely that your tree is in trouble.

Discoloration is one of the telltale signs a tree or shrub is sick, so if you notice your leaves wilt or yellow after a drought, you may need to water your tree more often. Leaf discoloration is also common in drought stress situations and can be a sign of root damage, disease, or pests.

Excessive Wilting

If you observe gaunt foliage and dry wood, it’s a clear omen that your tree is in its final days. During the hot summer months, be wary of wispy, anemic leaves, sluggish yearly expansion, scant and yellowish leaves, dead twigs, and wilting brown leaves that drop prematurely.

Take additional caution if a large number of limbs are dying from the apex. If these many branches structure most of the canopy, then steps should be taken promptly to salvage your tree.

Peeling Bark or Cracking Wood

Every dead tree has its telltale signs, and one of the most recognizable is its shedding bark. Commonly thought to act like a ‘skin’ for a tree, shielding its core from inclement weather, bark sticking to a tree serves as an essential defense system.

However, if you notice peeling bark with horizontal cracks in it, then this could be indicative of the tree’s inability to maintain strength against external pressures; this may be your sign that the end is near. Pay attention to those horizontal lines—they’re warning flags.


By observing the signs of a dying tree, you can begin to identify the cause for its decline. Whether it is environmental, pest or disease-related, or due to root damage, understanding the indicators of a tree in decline will help you take the necessary steps to save your beloved tree. If you are uncertain of the cause, contact an arborist for help so they can give you advice on how to treat and save your tree before it’s too late.

Popular Posts