How can you tell if a tree branch is healthy?

Live twigs bend and dead branches break. Every year, prune dead and broken branches as soon as they appear.

How can you tell if a tree branch is healthy?

Live twigs bend and dead branches break. Every year, prune dead and broken branches as soon as they appear. Dead branches left in place invite insects and diseases to enter. Test for any suspicious branches by scraping the branch with your thumb nail.

Live branches will be green underneath and dead branches will appear brown. You can also test the branches by bending them gently. Live branches will be flexible and will bend easily. Dead branches will break with increased pressure.

For deciduous trees, look for branches that lack lush green leaves and show only brown, brittle leaves during the growing season. They will also have dead leaves that still cling well into winter instead of falling to the ground. Evergreen coniferous trees will begin to show red, brown, or yellow needles or leaves when stressed or dying. Bend some of the smaller branches to see if they break.

If they break quickly without arching, the branch is dead. If many branches are dead, the tree may be dying. To make a determination, you can use the simple tree scratch test. If you have an evergreen tree such as pine, fir, or hemlock, watch out for sections of the tree that are left bare or without needles.

During winter, a bare tree may appear dead without branches full of lush life, but it's actually a good time of year to check trees and make sure they're healthy. While trees with multiple stems are not necessarily unhealthy, it should be evaluated if bark is included in any joint, which can compromise the structural health of the tree. If your tree is not endangered, any other problem is likely to be aesthetic related to the appearance of the tree. This leader adds strength and stability to the structure of the tree and creates the upright and straight appearance of the tree.

Arbalists and tree care professionals use these signs as part of their initial evaluation of any tree. For fungal or bacterial infections, look for cancers (discolored areas or depressed places in the bark) or fungi that grow on the ground at the base of a tree or on the tree itself. However, it's not always clear when trees are in poor health, which can make it difficult to treat them, especially when it comes to a dead or dying tree located near a building or house. However, if the bark loss is due to an infectious condition, you'll need to cut down the tree before the infection spreads to other trees in the area.

Unlike careful cuts in tree pruning, it is difficult for a tree to recover from broken branches, large cuts, or indentations in the tree. If your trees show any signs of disease or decay, and the problem is more work than just pruning, contact the specialists at Elite Tree Care to see what can be done. With the exception of certain trees (such as birch, eucalyptus, and maple), the tree's bark should not be shed or peeled unless the tree is early in the growing season. Human skin problems provide clues to underlying diseases, just as the condition of tree bark may indicate tree disease.

Megan Castellani
Megan Castellani

Lifelong tv practitioner. General beer enthusiast. Professional coffee advocate. Infuriatingly humble gamer. Devoted pop culture lover.

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