How to Tell If a Tree Is Dying On Your Paso Robles Property: 3 Signs

Do you need to know how to tell if a tree is dying? When one of your beloved specimens starts to look a bit under the weather, it’s easy to panic. No one wants to say goodbye to a tree that has graced their yard for years. 

As the go-to tree service in Paso Robles, CA, we have diagnosed and treated many flora, helping them bounce back from the brink of death. Keep reading as we highlight the red flags that signal your tree may be on its way out.

1. Leaf Issues

Leaves are more than just a vibrant display of nature. Their purpose is to photosynthesize or convert sunlight into food. These deviations from the norm in leaf behavior are usually visual cues of tree distress:

  • Color changes: Prematurely yellowing or browning foliage can indicate a distressed tree. If the leaves are showing off an unexpected autumnal fashion show in spring, it’s not a good sign. 
  • Leaf fall: A sudden leaf drop outside of the usual fall season may stem from a severe stress response in the tree. 
  • Wilted leaves: Leaves generally have a rigid and uniform appearance. Shape changes can imply an underlying disease or dehydration, particularly if this symptom shows up outside of the peak summer months.

2. Unhealthy Bark

The bark is the tree’s first line of defense and even plays a role in nutrient distribution. Account for these symptoms when identifying a dying tree:

  • Deep cracks: Deep crevices can stem from pest infestations, human damage, or even a violent storm. These wounds create a gateway for pathogens and microbes to invade the tree. 
  • Bark peeling: A little shedding is natural for some trees, but large chunks falling off are signs of a dying tree.
  • Sap: Some varieties, like pines and spruces, naturally exude sap. If your specimen isn’t one of these trees and it oozes the sticky stuff, don’t ignore it.
  • Cankers or fungal growth: The odd, unsightly patch or mushrooms on the bark usually signals a late-stage fungal infection.

3. Dead Branches

If you want to know how to tell if a tree is dying, look at the state of its branches. Dieback refers to a condition where the limbs start dying from the tips towards the trunk.

Other signs of a dying tree include very dry and brittle branches. Conduct an easy test: take a random twig and scrape it gently with your fingernail. It should reveal a layer of moist, green tissue. 

A few brown interiors aren’t usually symptoms of tree decline, but a majority of the canopy in this state might mean it’s too late.

Need Help Recognizing Tree Health Decline?

Knowing how to tell if a tree is dying can become tricky for the untrained eye. Cut Rite Tree Service has you covered! We detect even the most subtle indications of tree mortality and deliver remedies with surgical precision.

Dial 559-320-7723 or read more of our blog and learn about tree decay.


We are a locally owned company that prides ourselves in providing the best service possible for the residents of Fresno, Clovis, Madera, Sanger, Folwer, Reedley and the surrounding areas.

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1806 N Temperance
Fresno, CA 93727


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