How To Recognize Dead Branches Part 2

If you haven’t read part one of this two part series, you should go back and read what you missed. Okay, now that you’re caught up, we can proceed to part two.

Shake the branch in question. A slim, (roughly under a half inch in diameter) living branch should be flexible, bendable without cracking. If the wood is dead, it will snap. It will also often feel lighter, drier and hollower. Walking past shrubs with gloves shaking suspicious branches is a great way to quickly find dead wood.

Look for buds. Early spring when the buds begin to swell and break is a great time for this sign. If a node on the branch contains even one firm or swelling bud, the branch is still alive. If all the nodes are bare of buds, or has only dry buds that collapse when squeezed between your fingers, the branch is dead.

Look at the branch collar. The branch collar is the ring that completely encircles the base of a branch, just above where it attaches to its parent branch or the trunk. The collar will usually be slightly raised or swollen looking. When the branch dies, the collar at its base begins, year by year, trying to engulf and swallow the dead branch. If you see a roll of wood that seems to be creeping up your branch, that branch has probably been dead a while, and should be cut off just above the collar.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.

How To Recognize Dead Branches Part 1

399684_9912Leafless Limbs
If you are doing some yard work and notice that any one of your trees is full of life with the exception of a limb or two that don’t have any leaves, you may have issues.

Dead Leaves While Others Are Bare
During the winter months, your tree should have shed all it’s leaves. This is with the exception of oak trees, beech trees, or any type of saplings. If you see that your tree’s limbs have shed its leaves except for a branch or two, those branches are probably dead.

Missing Bark
Old bark will naturally fall off a branch over time, but on healthy wood this is replaced by new layers of bark. If on an old branch you see large areas of smooth wood, it’s a warning sign.

Large Fungus
If you have shelf fungus, wood conchs, or other kinds visibly infecting a section of wood, chances are that everything from that point and upwards along the branch is dead or at least weak and dying fast. Fungus in combination with other signs helps you be sure.

Look For The Green
Just beneath the outer layer of every branch and twig is the cambium. This is a thin green layer that is present during every season of growth. It is green in every season, even winter, but it turns brown when the plant dies.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.

Another Winter Checklist For Winter Tree Care

tree trimming services wenatcheeWith the coming of fall it is important to remember to prepare your trees for our moderate southeastern Washington winter. This list will serve as a reminder of the most important points to consider for fall tree care, tree pruning, and proper tree winterization.

  • Water your trees weekly in late fall until freeze-up. Two gallons per inch of stem diameter is recommended, if the soil is dry at a depth of six inches. This will help prevent winter dieback.
  • Rake up and remove/destroy fallen leaves. This is the best thing you can do to reduce the amount of fungal leaf disease next year (many fungal leaf diseases overwinter on leaf litter).
  • Prune dead wood to decrease overwintering sites for tree diseases and insect pests.
  • Wait until the tree is dormant (at least November) to prune living branches, always using proper technique.
  • Wrap the lower main stem of trees that have not developed thick bark to protect them from sun scald and rodent feeding damage.
  • Wrap burlap around smaller, high-value (landscape) conifers or set up a burlap sun/wind shield to help minimize the chances of winter burn.
  • Throughout winter, use caution when applying ice melt products near trees and shrubs. Salts and other chemicals contained in some products may cause harm.

By completing this list you will be doing your part to maximize the chances that your trees will make it through the winter in good health and will be ready for a productive growing season.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.

Scroll to Top

Contact Us

Free Estimates.
24/7 Emergency Service.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message