What Is a Dormant Tree and How to Differentiate from Dead Trees

What Is a Dormant Tree?

Have you ever wondered why trees lose all of their leaves and look dead in the winter? It may look like they “died” at the beginning of the season and “come back” in the spring, but the truth is that trees rest and conserve energy during the winter.

Much like how animals hibernate during the cold months, trees do, too. However, a tree could be doing more than “resting.” If you have a suspicion that your tree may be dead, you may want to call tree service professionals in Oak Island, NC, to take a look at it for you.

How to Check to See Whether a Deciduous Tree Is Dead

Checking to see whether your tree is dead or resting is not a complicated process. Taking a thorough look at your tree’s bark, branches, and roots will help you find any red flags.

If you see anything wrong with your trees and you suspect that they are dead, do not try removing any of the trees yourself. 

Call the professionals at Coastal Tree Trimmers to do the work for you.

1: Use the Snap Scratch Test

If your tree is still alive, it will only look dead while it is dormant. Brittle bark is a clear sign that something is either very wrong with your tree or it is already dead. 

You can use something called a snap scratch test to check the branches for any potential brittleness or problems. To do this, all you need to do is take a knife and gently scratch a piece of the bark away. When that is done, check the exposed layer under the bark.

If the layer is green, then you have a healthy, living tree. If the layer is a sickly brown, then it is not dormant but dead (or in the process of dying). 

2: Look for Greenery in the Branches

While popular art may depict winter trees as completely barren with not a piece of greenery in sight, healthy trees always have something growing on the branches, even during the winter. 

Dormant trees will have small buds growing on the branches in every season, even winter. These buds show that there is still life in the branches. Dead trees will be completely barren with no buds, leaves, or greenery. 

3: Check the Tree Trunk for Cracks and Insect Nests

The fastest way to check whether a tree is healthy is to investigate its bark. While there is the snap scratch test, you can also determine a tree’s health by simply observing the outside of the roots and trunk.

Dead trees will have large vertical cracks in the roots and trunk, sometimes with chunks rotted out of the bark. Insects like ants and termites make nests inside the rotten tree and will often scuttle in and out of the trunk.

If a tree is healthy, it will not have ants, insects, or fungi feeding off its bark.

Call Coastal Tree Trimmers for the Best Tree Care

A dormant tree is a winter tree that is still alive, just resting for the spring. If it turns out that your tree is dead, you should get it removed before it can do any potential damage to your yard or property.

When the dead tree is removed, you can look into tree planting by Coastal Tree Trimmers to make your yard vibrant again. 

Coastal Tree Trimmers will take care of your trees, both alive and dead. Check out our website to find the number for your service area and call us today!

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