How to Check Twigs to Detect if a Tree is Dead or Alive

A dead tree is not typically a safe tree to have on or near your property. They are in fact a safety concern, especially for places where children are often present. A dead tree can fall over and crush anything beneath it, causing injury or death to people and pets, or severe structural damage to property and vehicles. If a tree cannot serve its purpose of aesthetic appeal and comfortable shade, then why have it on your property at all? It is best to remove a tree once it is deemed dead. But how can you know for sure that a tree is dead? After all, many seem as if they have died, only to re-bloom the following spring. One easy strategy for identifying a dead tree is checking its twigs. Sound a little too easy? It should because it is! Continue reading to learn how a twig can quickly tell you whether or not a tree is dead or alive.

Tree Twigs

When trees become dormant in winter, it can be tricky discerning the difference between a dead tree, a tree that needs a few dead branches removed, and a tree that is simply inactive due to the climate. This is why twigs are useful tools in identifying a tree’s condition and health. The only catch to this simple method is that it could take a few twigs or more to make a proper distinction.

Here’s how to check twigs to assess the health and status of a tree you suspect is dead or dying:

1. Examine the moisture level and color of the twigs. The dryer the twig, the deader the tree. Dead or dying trees also have brown or grey-colored twig branches, rather than the healthy-looking tan, purple, orange, or greenish colors that an active tree would have.

2. Look for new branch or bud growth at the ends of the twigs in the late winter or early spring. If the leaf buds appear swollen or open, then the tree is alive. You can also gently scrape the leaf buds with your fingernail to see if you can spot some green. This is another sign of an active tree.

3. Check the flexibility of a few twigs by gently bending them, but not too far that it could break or damage a healthy branch. A dead or dying tree twig will easily snap in half or clear off the tree with just a little pressure; while a healthy tree will exhibit some buoyancy and bend back into shape.

4. Use a small pocket knife, or your fingernail, to scrape the flesh of a twig. If green, white, or cream-colored on the inside, you have a healthy tree on your hands. If brown or grey-like, you have a dead or nearly dead tree.

If you find a dead tree on your property, it is a potential hazard to you, your children, your guests, your home and siding, your cars, and more. It is strongly recommended to have a dead tree removed as soon as possible by a licensed tree service.

Tree Service in Fishers Indiana

Tree Service Coupon Fishers Indiana 317-537-9770

Tree Service Coupon Fishers Indiana 317-537-9770

Call 317-537-9770 for professional tree service in Fishers, Indiana. We are highly trained and qualified tree service contractors with several years of experience in the industry. We provide residential and commercial tree removal, as well as, a long list of additional tree services. Call 317-537-9770 to learn more about our affordable tree removal services in Fishers, IN today.

How Does Winter Weather Affect Landscaping Trees?

There are two different kinds of trees that we see in Indiana, deciduous trees and conifers. Conifers, or evergreens, are the pine and fir trees that keep their foliage all year long; while deciduous trees are those that lose their foliage in the winter seasons. Continue reading to learn more about conifers and deciduous trees, and how the winter weather can affect them both.


Conifers are also called softwoods or evergreen trees. The popular species of these trees in Indiana are the Northern White Cedar and Junipers. The term conifer refers to the type of “fruit” that the tree grows. These are usually the pine cones or woody cones we see at certain times of the year; although some conifers, like Junipers, bore tiny berry-like fruits that are not meant to be consumed by humans or pets. Softwoods have needle-like foliage, often green in color, but can range from yellows to oranges, and even shades of blue. The differences among species of conifers is their branch and bud distribution, needle color, yielded fruits, tree size, and more. In the winter, these species of tree do not shed their foliage, nor does their foliage change in color. They remain “ever-green” all year long! So in conclusion, conifers are not significantly affected by winter weather, but they do prepare for winter seasons by storing up extra water and nutrients in the soil surrounding their root systems.

Deciduous Trees

The term “deciduous” literally means to “fall off at maturity” or “tending to fall off”, which refers to their foliage loss in winter climates. Every autumn, deciduous trees change leaf color, and then lose their leaves, leaving their branches exposed and bare. This process is called abscission. Although the foliage may be gone for now, they tree is not dead, but simply dormant. It will await the start of spring to bloom more buds and regrow its leaves. There are several species of deciduous trees, ranging in size, color, shape, smell, fruits, and more. Examples of such trees include Maple trees, Ash trees, willow trees, apple trees, oak trees, and cherry blossoms. Trees are not the only deciduous plant in nature. Shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and some plants also experience abscission.

Be sure to protect your landscaping trees this winter by laying down an extra layer of mulch or soil before the freeze-thaw cycles begin and before the first big snowfall. Also, water your trees as much as possible leading up to deep winter. This way, they have plenty of excess water and nutrients to keep them healthy while dormant. You may also want to apply soil additives for additional nutritional value. This is helpful and recommended for newly planted trees or young trees. Contact a professional tree service company for industry advice and information you can trust.

Tree Service Fishers Indiana

Tree Service Coupon Fishers Indiana 317-537-9770

Tree Service Coupon Fishers Indiana 317-537-9770

Call 317-537-9770 for professional information and advice regarding tree service in Fishers, Indiana. We are highly trained and qualified arborists with several decades of experience in the tree removal and service industry. We provide a wide-range of tree care services for both residential and commercial properties. You can trust you are receiving the most accurate and honest advice about winter tree protection and more. Call our professionals at 317-537-9770 to learn more about Fishers tree service today.