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Signs Your Tree is Dying

When you buy a KCI home, you are buying an outdoor space as well. Having a primed canvas to work on and make your own is an essential part of owning your own home. Filling out your yard with beautiful shrubs and trees can be satisfying work. But what about when a tree has reached the end of its life? A dying tree can pose a big threat to your home if not taken care of. That is why we want to share with you a few signs you need to look out for to determine whether it is time for your tree to go.

There are Few Leaves

A lack of lush new growth is one of the easiest tells that your tree is dying. If there are only a few new leaves and they hang on well into fall without dropping properly, this is a good sign your tree is on the way out. For evergreen varieties, look for yellow, brown, or red needles to indicate stress.

The Bark is Brittle

Another sign of a sick tree is brittle and flaky bark. As a tree dies, the bark falls off. Look also for cracks in your tree. Vertical cracks and wounds will leave what is left of your tree susceptible to increased damage and it will also leave it more vulnerable during storms.

There are Too Many Dead Branches

It is natural for a tree to have a few dead branches. Make sure that you maintain a regular pruning schedule so that dead and fallen branches do not risk damaging your home. However, if a tree has an abundance of dead limbs, this is likely an indicator that the entire tree is sick and dying.

It is Leaning too Much

Experts say that if your tree is leaning more than 15 degrees from vertical, this is most likely a sign of wind damage. Large trees that have been damaged from heavy winds rarely recover. Once the roots have been stressed and damaged, it is only a matter of time until their eventual death.

There is no Green Underneath

An easy way to test the health of your tree is with the scratch test. Depending on how old and thick the bark is, you can take either your fingernail or a knife and scratch away a piece. If it is green underneath, this is a sign that the tree is still healthy. If, however, it is brown and dry underneath the bark, this is a sure sign of a sick or dying tree. Be sure to test a few sections to be positive that it is the entire tree that is dying and not just a branch or two.

If you are not careful, a dead tree can sneak up on you. Given a bad storm, that tree can fall and harm your house or even a person. Equipped with the signs of what to look for, though, you can take steps to remove a dead tree before that happens.

By KCI Homes 6-22-2020

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