5 Signs my Tree is Dying

Trees are valuable assets to humans as well as the environment. They provide oxygen for both humans and animals as well as purify the air. We all love trees, but our knowledge of them in terms of proper care can be quite limited. For instance, in most cases we can hardly tell if they are dying or something is eating them up slowly.

You don’t need to be an expert or hire a tree service company when saving a tree. This article will cover how to ascertain if your tree is dying and ways of saving it. 

What is a dying tree? 

A dying tree has lost its leaves or branches due to disease, insects, drought, among other reasons. What are the telltale signs of a dying tree? 

Here are the five most common signs of a dying tree. 

1) Leaves drop off. Dropping off is usually caused by a fungal infection called leaf spot. It causes small brown spots on the leaves. These spots eventually turn into holes in the leaves. When this happens, the tree loses water through these holes. Ultimately, the tree will die.

2) Branches break off. This is usually caused by lack of water. As the tree gets stressed, it starts to dry up. Breaking off causes the bark to crack and split. The tree then begins to lose support. In the end the tree falls over.

3) Bark peels away. Peeling is usually caused by a fungus called a “canker.” This fungus eats at the outer layer of the bark. Over time, the tree becomes weak and dies.

4) Browning of the trunk. Browning is usually caused because the tree doesn’t have enough moisture. The sap dries up and turns brown. This is often seen with conifers like pine trees.

5) Yellowish-brown discoloration of the roots. This is usually caused when there is too much nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen is needed for photosynthesis. Too much nitrogen makes the plant grow faster than it should. This results in yellowish-brown discolored roots.

How Can You Save a Dying Tree?

There are a few things that you can do to help a dying tree recover. First, you need to identify the cause of illness by looking closely at the tree then treating it accordingly. 

Here are some helpful tips and observations.

  1. Insect infestation – You’ll want to remove the damaged parts. You can use a spray bottle filled with soapy water to wash the affected area. Then, apply insecticide directly onto the site. Be sure to follow label directions carefully.
  2. Fungus infestation – Use a fungicide to fight infestation. Make sure you follow all the instructions captured on the package carefully.
  3. Drought – Water the tree thoroughly. Make sure that the root system is well watered.
  4. Other problems – Check the tree for damage, such as broken limbs. Remove anything that needs repair. Also, check for pests. If present, spray insecticides. 

Bonus tip: You can also improve the environment around the tree. For example, you can add more mulch to protect the roots. Mulching helps keep the ground moist and reserve nutrients.


Dying trees can be pretty frustrating. There are ways to help them recover, and with the above easy-care tips, there is no need to worry. Once they’ve recovered, they look great again!

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