The Difference Between Dormant Vs. Dead Trees

difference between tree dormant and dead treesSeattle, WA arborists have the answers for proper tree health care. 

Dormancy and Death: How To Spot The Differences

Homeowners often call arborists because they think their trees are dead. In reality, they can be dormant, which is why it’s always best to call an expert to assess the situation. There are a few things homeowners should be aware of that might help them answer the question themselves, or at least settle a few anxieties. For starters, it’s beneficial for homeowners to know the common differences between dormant and dead trees. Learning to properly care for a dormant tree is also important. 

Learn all about this in the sections below! 

What Is Dormancy and What Are the Signs?

Dormancy in trees and plants is very similar to hibernation in mammals. Even humans tend to slow down and hunker in during the winter months. This is essentially what dormancy is to a tree. The tree’s metabolism, energy consumption, and growth all slow down in an effort to protect the tree from the cold weather and reduced water supply. 

If a tree is dormant, there will be specific signs that point to dormancy rather than tree death. Mostly, you’re looking for any and all signs of life. A dormant tree will still have branches that are limber and green on the inside, despite the cold temperatures. 

Homeowners can break off a few branches to see how they look on the inside. It is normal to find a few dried, brown, and dead branches in the mix, but if the tree still has branches that are alive, that’s a good sign the tree is dormant and not dead.

How To Protect a Dormant Tree

The great thing about dormant trees is they do a great job of protecting themselves. However, there are some things homeowners can do to provide additional protection for their dormant trees. 

Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Clean up any debris and dead branches around the tree to prevent disease.
  • Toward the end of winter, fertilize the tree to prepare it for spring. 

The Common Signs of Tree Death

The main difference between a dead tree and a dormant tree is a dead tree won’t have branches that look green on the inside. However, there are a few other signs that point to a dead tree.

These signs include: 

  • Dried and peeling bark with chunks of the trunk missing
  • Lots of fallen branches that are also dried and brown
  • Mushrooms growing around the base of the tree

A professional arborist will be able to tell if the tree is actually dead and advise the homeowner on the proper next steps to take. Usually, tree removal is the only solution left to take when a tree is already dead. 

Seattle Tree Care: The One and Only

Seattle Tree Care is a top-rated arborist company in Seattle, WA. Client safety and tree health are their top priorities. They offer 24/7 emergency tree services to deliver that promise of safety. There’s no one in the area quite like them. Call today to get on the books! 

Post by Mike Gurung

Comments are closed.