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Denver Tree Service Reveals Signs A Tree Is Dead or Dying

December 26, 2018

Many home or business owners keep close watch over the landscape of their property in terms of flowering plants, mulch beds, and lawn areas. These different places are an outward representation of the occupant and curb-appeal definitely exists. Whether or not your place of business or residence is currently on the market matters not - people will draw significant conclusions about the type of person you are or the business you run, simply from their impression diagnosed by the outside representation of your property.

Right or wrong, this is a fact and could influence any potential interactions - whether business or personal, between you as the homeowner and anyone who has taken notice of your landscape. However, one of the forgotten areas for people to consider when keeping a constant check on their plant life is the trees which oversee the land beneath them. Thought to be strong and sturdy, many of them are, the damage a dead or dying tree could cause needs to be given swift attention. For this reason, routinely checking the health of trees on your property and quickly analyzing any potential issues can literally save you money.

Damaged, dying, or dead trees exhibit signs and in some cases the tree may be subject for treatment to prevent any potential condition from advancing. The good news is that a saved tree will continue to provide either a specific look, shade, or other benefit to your property where a damaged tree may have an unsightly leaf fall during the spring or summer of the year, leave branches laying around on the ground, or worse - fall entirely. The latter poses a serious threat to anything underneath which may be damaged by the tree when it lands. Buildings, automobiles, equipment, and other plant life are all in danger once a tree begins to topple over on its own. Also, the landowner will be left with both a downed tree which needs to be removed, an unsightly stump, or an entire area which may need to be repaired should the trunk and root system be pulled out of the ground together. Regardless, none are issues that people wish to deal with on a daily basis and all create even more problems than just the downed tree.

Following are signs to look for when observing the trees on your property to ensure they are healthy and not going to pose any unexpected issues. Keep in mind, these are indications of a problem and while Mother Nature may periodically cause damage with her high winds, excessive rain, or a combination of the two, even healthy trees are subject to potential damage when constantly exposed to these elements. After any severe weather, trees should be checked for any of the following signs in addition to potential broken limbs or branches which could fall that may have been caused by the storm.


Starting from the ground up - tree roots, like those of any plant, are the base of the plant which are located underground although depending on the tree type and condition may be viewable above the surface to some extent. Tree roots essentially perform two very important jobs for the overall health of a tree. Growing down deep into the ground the root system both anchors the entire plant and also serves to provide nutrition for the tree. 

Tree roots may extend beyond the canopy of a full grown tree and are subject to damage from a variety of different factors. Excess water could cause rot around the base of a tree and exposed root systems could be damaged by routine lawn maintenance. Also, any digging, even when you believe you are away from the a tree’s root system, could potentially damage the root system putting the entire tree at jeopardy.

Signs of root damage are often visible to the naked eye and include any cuts, scrapes, or other indicators of damage to roots which are above ground. Underground root damage typically comes in the form of an entire break.


Tree trunks are typically covered in bark and the health of this substance can be a significant indicator of the overall health of a tree. Consider the bark to be the “skin” of a tree and any missing or bald spots indicate a closer examination is needed. 

Another telltale sign of a sick, damaged, or dying tree is a hollow section or hole in the trunk itself. These cavities indicate internal decay which can be a serious issue leading to a tree quickly becoming a potential fall hazard. A hollow section within the trunk of a sizeable tree doesn’t leave much reliability in the sturdiness and ability to withstand any potential high winds should they occur.


Continuing the observation of a tree by moving up into the branch and canopy portions, any branches which are not leaf producing are potentially damaged. Trees with any sign of these type branches should immediately be given special attention to determine the cause behind what is occurring.

Fallen branches and limbs can also be examined to see if there is any sign of another issue, such as rot or damage caused by insects. Especially when there have been no recent weather patterns which may cause limbs to fall or in the spring or summer when a tree should be at its healthiest, if branches begin to litter the landscape it could be a sign of something potentially more significant.


Any discoloration or dropping of leaves that doesn’t correlate to the season is an immediate sign of a tree in distress. By quickly having a tree examined, steps can be made to potentially save the tree but if ignored for too long, then the damage may be too severe for any help.

Leaves foliage problems can be caused by a variety of different factors, including insects, heat, or a deficiency in nutrients. Depending on the culprit, an appropriate plan can be derived to keep your tree from becoming a serious threat as a fall hazard should any damage progress.

Arbor Garden Tree & Landscaping has been serving the Denver metro area for 23 years. We began in 1994 with one truck and now have a full service arborist business. Our locally owned and operated company is proud to serve Denver metro area residents and business owners including the Denver Country Club, Castle Pines Country Club, city and county governments, various homeowners associations and private homeowners. Our knowledgeable and certified arborists would be more happy to provide you with tree trimming, tree removal, tree planting and landscaping services. When you’re ready to get started give us a call at 303-722-8820 or fill out our contact form today.