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Is Your Tree Dead or Dormant? Cumming, GA
winter trees

It is always important to keep a watchful eye on your trees. Detecting dead trees before they fall and cause damage is preventing a major safety concern. However, it is not always easy to spot a dead tree, especially if it is in the winter! Trees don’t have leaves in the winter to signal to us that something is wrong. Furthermore, the winter season is a time of rest or dormancy for trees. So how do you tell if your tree is dying or just simply resting?

Dormancy for trees allows a time for the tree to rest or conserve energy before producing springtime foliage. The dormant tree, however, has bare branches and minimal activity, which can resemble a dead tree too. To ensure you don’t ignore a dead tree or cut down a tree that is dormant, follow this three-step check:

#1 Look for Buds

This will take a close examination, but if your tree is simply resting during dormant season, you should notice tiny leaf buds on the branches. If you see some, your tree is dormant. If you don’t notice any signs of budding life or the buds are shriveled, your tree may be dying. Make sure you examine all the branches throughout the tree to make sure it isn’t just a single dead branch.

# 2 Inspect the Trunk

If your tree is dormant, you’ll notice fresh bark growing in. Despite the dormant cycle, winter trees still replace their bark as they shed. If your tree doesn’t seem to be replacing the old bark with a new layer, you may have a dying tree. Another symptom of a troubled or unhealthy tree is cracks throughout the trunk.

#3 Do a Scratch Test

Use your fingernail or a knife to lightly scratch an area of the tree, a twig will do. If you expose a layer of moist and green, your tree is in good health. However, your tree may be dying rather than dormant if you see a brittle and brown layer underneath the scratch. You can also bend the tree twig, if it snaps easily, that is another indication that your tree is likely dying or already dead.

Need help determining whether your tree is dead or dormant in the winter? Call Pannone’s Landscaping & Lawn Pros today.

Posted on behalf of Pannone's Lawn Pros & Landscaping

1444 Buford Hwy
Cumming, GA 30041

Phone: (678) 294-0351


Monday - Saturday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Call our office today to schedule an estimate.

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Katherine M.

Would give 10 stars if I could. Pannone Landscaping exceeded our expectations and was such a pleasure to work with! Brad set reasonable expectations for the timing of the work (leveling, drainage system, fire pit, and sodding), and was the best priced quote with quality material and labor. We cannot speak highly enough of Brad and his crew, from their professionalism to expert advice to skilled work! Our yard went from ugly mud pit to lush golf course. Looking forward to working with Pannone and his team again!

Alex D.

Brad and his team did a wonderful job for us! Our backyard was overgrown and a mess after we moved in. Brad helped us come up with a plan to turn it around that would work for our family. He was quick to respond, reasonable priced, and our yard looks fantastic. We’ve gotten so many compliments. Hope to work with him again in the future and would highly recommend him to anyone that needs some landscaping help!

Ashley W.

We had the best experience working with Pannone's Lawn Pros & Landscaping! Brad guided us on every aspect of our exterior renovation from hardscapes to the annual color. He worked to find exactly what we were looking for even when items were difficult to find. We greatly appreciate his responsiveness, honest guidance and professionalism throughout the entire project. Thank you Brad!!