What Are the Common Causes of a Dying Tree?

Did you know that it is impossible to bring a tree back to life once it has died? So if you have a tree in your yard that has officially begun pushing up daisies, you may be interested in removing it.

However, if you're wondering why your tree died in the first place, multiple different exposures and misfortunes can cause that to happen. If you're lucky enough, you can catch an issue before it causes your trees to die!  

So if you have a dying tree in your yard or you see it start to display the signs of dying, keep reading! We discuss the symptoms of a dying tree, the causes, and what you can do after your tree has died. 

Your Dying Tree - What Is Causing It?

The ground where the tree is currently living is an essential factor in the tree's health. For example, if there is a drought in an otherwise moist environment, trees can quickly start dying if the problem isn't rectified. Here are some reasons the local climate and environment play a part in your tree's health. 


Poorly draining soil can harm the roots of your tree due to the slow movement of water, and the earth can remain wet for too long. Trees that do not do well in constantly moist soil will struggle to maintain vitality.

Salty soil has a high saline content, with more electrical conductivity than its less saline-rich counterparts. The salt in the solid can heavily affect your tree's ability to absorb water and can lead to the death of more vegetation than just trees.

Droughty soil is more prevalent in the West but can occur in different areas of the United States. This soil has the probability of completely drying out in the summer months, causing additional vegetation to dry up. 


Rainfall and the local weather heavily affect the trees, regardless of the location. Minor changes in summer temperatures to winter snow accumulating more than average can stress the tree roots, causing the vigor of your trees to deteriorate. Plant trees that can withstand the local climate and are durable to stand up to the extreme weather that some areas experience. 

Insects and Disease

Insects are opportunistic creatures that will invade trees when they are already diseased or stressed due to their environment. For example, the Emerald Ash Borers are insects that bore into trees and eat the moist inner layers until nothing is left. These insects can also create nests inside the cambial layer and cause the surrounding wood to start dying.

Various diseases can affect the trees in different areas of North America. Three of the most common and deadly include Armillaria root rot, oak wilt, and anthracnose. These diseases can attack the tree's vascular system and cause it to rot from the inside out. 

Catastrophic Events

Multiple catastrophic events can cause severe damage to your trees, so knowing what your local area deals with climate-wise would be wise before you do your landscaping. For example, floods can oversaturate the soil and roots with moisture for extended periods and quickly kill your trees.

Any severe weather with strong winds can pull smaller trees out of the ground or possibly tear trees apart. So if you live somewhere where strong winds are prominent, make sure your trees are robust and withstand the weather. 

More arid regions are subject to possible droughts, which will lead to a lack of water for the vegetation in the area. Long-term effects can harm a tree's vigor throughout the drought, such as poor radial growth, increased susceptibility to disease and insects, and dieback of a tree's crown. Therefore, it's essential in a dryer region to plant trees that can go longer without water. 

Signs Your Tree Is Dying

Many symptoms can let you know that your tree is unhealthy or dying. If you notice any of the below symptoms, it may be time to remove the tree or have it looked at by a specialist.  

  • You see sticks everywhere on the ground
  • There's no green under the outer bark
  • The branches are brittle or falling apart
  • There is obvious root damage
  • You can see clear holes from insects
  • There are no leaves or signs of growth
  • There are open wounds
  • Your tree is heavily leaning to one side
  • You can see rot or fungus
  • The bark is continuously falling off

So what do you do if you start to notice signs that your tree is dying? First, you need to call a tree removal service like Green Topps Landscaping and Tree Services. 

Green Topps Landscaping provides several services, such as tree trimming, tree removal, and risk assessment. The professionals at Green Topps are trained arborists that are TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualified) and can give you the best information about your trees. Having a risk assessment done on your trees will help you get to the root of the problem to avoid it in the future. 

Do You Need a Tree Removed?

If you read this article and you've realized that you might have a dying tree, give the people at Green Topps Landscaping and Tree Services a call. They offer tree services, as well as landscaping overhaul and upkeep. 

Maybe you just moved, and you're looking to have suitable trees planted? Green Topps offers a wide selection of vegetation that they can bring right to your yard. You deserve a beautiful yard with vibrant flora, so get onto the Green Topps website and contact them for your needs today! 

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