Tree Health: What Is a Dead Branch, and How to Spot One?

Research shows that homes with trees have as much as 3.5% to 15% more value. This is because many buyers prefer homes with trees for privacy and aesthetic appeal.

If you have a tree on your property, you may be worried about tree health. This is very important, especially when we are discussing something like a dead branch.

Tree maintenance is a critical part of keeping your trees healthy. This will minimize your costs in the future by preserving the tree as a whole.

Keep reading to find out how to spot a dead branch and why it is important.

Caring For Trees: Dead Branches 101

A lot of tree varieties require pruning, which involves cutting branches back. Doing this allows the tree to preserve its energy and continue growing.

Dead branches occur for a variety of reasons depending on the situation. Something may have happened to that branch, cutting off the support it needed.

Or it may not have been pruned and lacked the nutrients it needed. The problem with dead branches is that healthy trees still try to maintain them.

The tree will continue to lose vital nutrients by sending it to the dead branches. New growth can come from dead branches, but it is not worthwhile.

It is much more efficient to hire a company like Dallas Tree Service to help with this problem.

Signs a Tree Branch Is Dead

Tree health is something you have to consider as a homeowner with trees on your property. They can become very expensive if they aren’t maintained.

When a branch has died, there are certain things you can look for. Here are some examples of how you can examine your tree for any issues.

Fungal Growth

Depending on the situation, a tree branch may have things growing on it. This isn’t always a bad sign, but you should examine the growth.

Something like turkey tail fungus is an obvious problem. This is a type of fungus that grows on dead trees and stumps, indicating that the branch is dead.

Mushroom growth could also reveal that the branch has been dead for some time. You can peel back some of the bark to see if there is any sign of decay.


Your tree is home to a variety of small creatures that live and eat there. But there are certain insects that you want to keep an eye out for when it comes to a dead branch.

If a branch is dead, you may find a large number of insect feces around the tree. This may be around the trunk or underneath the dead branch.

You should keep an eye out for things like giant bark aphids and leaf-cutting bees. You may want to look into local pests to know exactly what to look for.

A large number of pests indicates that the tree branch is dead and decaying. This attracts insect life as they feed on this decay.

Less Activity

There are a few very simple ways to find a dead branch on your tree. One way to do this is to look for a branch that is not showing any activity.

A dead branch will not have new buds or new leaves. In fact, it may have twigs and dead leaves that are falling off of it.

These kinds of branches may also have a more grayish color than the rest of the tree.

Dry Bark

A healthy branch is going to be quite flexible and green. On the other hand, a dead branch is going to become brittle and easy to break off.

The bark will be very dry and brittle, not green and moist. This is a clear indicator that the branch has died and needs to be removed.

Why Remove Dead Branches?

When you have a tree on your property, you may be worried about dead branches. If you notice any dead branches, this is something you need to address as soon as possible.

Here are some examples of why this is important.


A dead branch takes away from the overall look of a healthy tree. Dead branches are bare and often have a different color and a dried-up appearance.

This can stick out, especially when your tree is in bloom.

Damage Risks

Dead branches no longer have support from the tree. This makes them a risk since they could fall on someone or on something on your property.

It is your responsibility as the homeowner to make sure the tree is not a risk.

Environmental Risks

As we discussed above, dead branches accumulate growth and pests. This is not only bad for the tree branch, but it is also bad for the entire tree.

If left alone for too long, this could result in the entire tree dying. You also risk that tree spreading disease to any other trees that are nearby.

Insects will also be attracted to the rest of your property if they are attracted to that tree. This could cause an infestation where many landscaping features are damaged.

Dead Branch: Understanding Tree Health Basics

As a homeowner, you may have a tree on your property you need to take care of. One part of tree maintenance is locating a dead branch on the tree.

A dead branch has died and no longer provides any use to the tree. That is why it is important that it is removed before it causes further damage.

Are you interested in tree trimming services in Dallas, Fort Worth? Contact us today at Green Pine Tree Service to book an appointment.