Spring is in full swing here in Marietta, GA and many homeowners are happy to see their gardens spring back to life. However, you may have noticed that a few branches on your tree are still bare. In such a scenario, it’s easy to tell you have a dead branch on your tree. Unfortunately, spotting a dead branch isn’t always this easy.

Trees tend to decay from the inside out, so even a seemingly healthy branch can actually already be dead on the inside. This can pose a significant safety risk as a branch can easily fall on a family member playing in the backyard, or one of your beloved pets. In the worst case scenario, a dead branch may fall on a passer-by, which may lead to a negligence lawsuit.

Be responsible and regularly check the branches of your tree, especially during spring. If you notice any of the following signs, immediately call a professional tree service, such as SCS Tree Service at once to come and remove dead branches from your tree:

Professional tree service removing dead branches off of several trees

Fungal Infestations

As you walk around your tree and inspect the branches, take the time to look for any signs of fungal infestations. Shelf fungus, wood conchs, and other kinds of fungi sap a large amount of nutrients from both the tree and rotting wood, which helps speed up the death of branches. Fungal infestations can easily occur when spores enter the tree thanks to an open wound on any surface.

In the event you do notice fungal growth on your tree, it’s safe to assume that the areas that are above the tree have been compromised and can be considered dead. This can be a significant cause for concern if you find fungi growing nearer to the base of the tree.

Exposed Smooth Wood

Bark, the outermost layer of the brank, pretty much acts like our own outermost layer of skin. It serves to protect the lower layers of the branch as well as keep fungi and diseases away. Bark tends to fall off in bits and pieces once the layer directly underneath it is mature enough to take its place. You can take advantage of this natural occurrence to see if a branch is dead or not.

Ideally, you should be able to see small green patches once parts of the old bark start chipping off. This is the sign of a strong and healthy branch. However, if you see large exposed areas of smooth wood, the branch may already be starting to decompose, which explains the lack of its natural green hue.

Large Branch Collar

The branch collar is where a parent branch is attached to the trunk of a tree. Branch collars typically look slightly swollen. This provides the branch a strong connection which prevents it from breaking off even in poor weather conditions.

When a branch starts to die, however, the branch collar will start moving up the branch in an effort to keep it more stable. If you notice that a roll of thick woof is starting to engulf a particular branch, there is a good chance that the branch in question is starting to die or is already dead.

If you notice any of the signs above, all hope isn’t lost. Many species of trees that grow in Marietta are pretty resilient. A trusted tree service can easily cut off dead branches on your tree to keep you and your family safe. Dead branch removal also helps your tree stay strong and healthy, minimizing the chances of having an entirely dead tree on your hands and having to remove the entire tree altogether.

How To Recognize Dead Wood, TheSpruce.com
How to Prune a Tree, ThisOldHouse.com