My Tree is Dying – What Do I Do?

My Tree is Dying – What Do I Do?

Tree death from disease and infestation

Don’t let your dying tree fall on your house. All trees grow, age, and will eventually die, knowing the signs of a troubled tree and how to respond will keep your property and loved ones safe.

Illness and disease can slowly eat away at the health of your trees, and when this happens, knowing what to do becomes critical. In some cases, the signs are so subtle that trouble is overlooked, and the tree subsequently falls on your car or house. explains how to identify a tree emergency, the signs of a troubled tree, and what to do when your tree starts dying.

Dying Tree Emergency

There are tree emergencies that are obvious and require immediate attention. The following situations will generally end up requiring an emergency tree removal:

Leaning Tree – When a tree can no longer secure itself to the land it is growing in or has broken away from the roots holding it down, it may lean before falling. This is a tree emergency and may require its immediate removal by a professional tree service.

Leaning tree indicates potential health emergency

Mushrooms Growing on the Tree – One of the most alarming signs that a tree is dying is the growth of mushrooms on the trunk.

Mushrooms require decaying organic material to flourish. If they are growing on your tree, it means that the inside of the tree is decaying and is an immediate hazard to its surroundings.

Dying tree with mushrooms on the trunk and roots

As with the situation of a leaning tree, this is an emergency requiring immediate professional action.

Insect Infestation – Boring insects can wreak havoc on the inside of a tree. If severe enough, an infestation can kill stressed or healthy trees, and continue to spread from tree to tree.

If you have detected the presence of boring insects, it is imperative that a professional tree service is called to evaluate the extent of the infestation, the amount of damage your tree has sustained, and a plan to halt the spread of the infestation to neighboring trees.

Termite and boring insect infestation kills trees

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of a troubled tree, read

My Tree is Dying – I Think

As trees grow, they go through many phases which may appear as if they are dying. That’s not always the case. Take the following into consideration:

Deciduous Trees – At the beginning of fall, you may notice your tree’s green leaves turning shades of red, orange, and yellow. Within a couple of weeks, all of the leaves fall to the ground leaving the trunk, branches, and twigs bare.

Healthy deciduous tree with fall colored foliage

In this scenario, your tree is likely doing what it needs to do in preparation for dormancy. Dormancy may cause your tree to appear dead, but in reality, this process is its protection against freezing temperatures and severe winter weather.

If however your tree loses its foliage before the fall season, or shows no sign of life into late spring, have the tree evaluated by a professional to determine a course of action.

Falling Branches – Without warning, an entire branch comes crashing to the ground. While this may be an alarming event, there are tree species such as the eucalyptus, Carolina poplar, American elm, aspen, or pecan tree that will drop a branch unannounced.

Dying tree self pruning by dropping entire branches

These trees are considered self-pruning. They are shade intolerant, and when the leaves of a branch don’t get enough sunlight to provide sufficient photosynthesis, the tree may simply dispatch the entire branch. Read for more on self-pruning branches.

Before using the branch for firewood or disposing of it, inspect it for signs of infection or infestation. When a tree species that is not self-pruning drops a branch, it is an indication that something serious may be occurring within the tree.

In the absence of disease or infestation, professional crown thinning and seasonal pruning will help your tree avoid self-pruning.

Discover the right time for cutting, pruning, and emergency tree removal at

How to Handle a Dying Tree

While trees add value to their surroundings, benefit the environment, and are naturally beautiful, they can become a deadly liability as they age, become ill, and eventually die. Knowing how to identify and handle the signs of a dead or dying may save your property and the well-being of your loved ones.

In this article, you discovered what a tree emergency looks like, the signs of a troubled tree, and what to do if your tree is dying or dead.

Once you have detected a tree problem, you must take action to treat or remove that tree before it falls and causes catastrophic property damage or physical injury.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

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