August 14

Is My Tree Alive or Dead?



How can you know if your tree is just taking a little longer to come out of the winter hibernation or if it is really time to get a professional to remove it? There is a very simple trick that not many people know: check the twigs. Doing this simple step will allow you to tell if you need to be patient or make a phone call to Menchhofer Tree Care in Indianapolis!

Checking Twigs:

1. First, find the youngest twig that you can reach and work with – don’t strain yourself of the tree. Examine the moisture level and color of the twigs before you do anything else. In general, the dryer that the twig is, then the deader the tree is as well. If you see a brown or gray colored twig, your tree is dead or dying. You want to see greenish, tan, orange, or even purple colors.

2. If you have any leaf buds on the twigs, and those leaf buds appear to be open or opening, you have a live tree! If you have leaf buds, but they aren’t open, gently scrape the leaf buds with your fingernail to see if you can spot some green. If you see green inside, your tree is most likely alive.

3. More flexible twigs may indicate a healthy, living tree. Check their flexibility by bending them gently – too far and even the healthiest trees will break.  A twig that belongs to a dead or dying tree will easily snap in half with just a little pressure.

4. A quicker way to check it by using a small pocket knife or car keep to gently scrape the flesh of the twig. You will want to see green, white, or cream-colored on the inside, not brown or grey!

If you need help determining whether or not your tree is healthy and happy, give us a call and we will be more than happy to help you out!

Header Photo Courtesy of Mike LaCon on Flickr!

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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