You may give your tree the extra love and care it deserves, but no amount of affection will make it live forever. Eventually, all trees will die from an insect attack, disease, old age, or other causes. But with their structure in place, you may not always be able to tell that your tree has died right away.

You could have questions like, “Is the tree dead or just sick?” or “Can a dead tree have green leaves?” A tree with lush, green leaves that are still growing cannot be dead, but it could be sick. 

In this post, we look into the common signs to help you identify a sick or dead tree, as advised by Marietta’s trusted arborist services

Worrying Indications That Your Tree is Sick or Dying

Lack of Foliage

Is it spring or summer? Does every tree in your neighborhood have some healthy, fresh leaves, but your tree remains leafless? A lack of leaves doesn’t always mean the tree is dead, but it is undoubtedly sick and needs a professional to inspect it.

Dead Wood

If your tree looks dry and lifeless and breaks easily, it could be long dead. Dead wood is brittle and won’t bend in the wind. Rather, it’ll end up breaking into pieces, so you need to remove these dead branches immediately before they pose a danger to your loved ones, vehicles, and property. 

Less Obvious Signs of a Dying Tree


Trees often decay from the inside out, so you can’t easily notice the problem in the early stages. However, if you notice fungi like mushrooms or crumbly wood, there’s certainly a problem. The presence of fungi on an unhealthy tree usually indicates the trunk is rotting, which provides a growth medium for the fungi.  

Are there lots of fungi on the ground around your tree? The roots could be rotting.

Peeling Bark

Many tree species have exfoliating bark, and some will spring back to life even after severe bark damage. However, you should be worried if the peeling bark affects your tree in a 360-degree pattern, known as girdling. A girdled tree may survive, but it’s still safer to consult a qualified arborist to be sure.

Can a dead tree have green leaves when the damaged bark looks old? If the wood showing through is not green but worn smooth with no signs of recovering, that’s certainly a dead tree! It won’t have green leaves emerging any time soon. 

One Final Sign of a Problem: Poor Tree Architecture 

Does your tree exhibit an uneven growth pattern or lean in a particular direction? This often results from years of storm damage or incorrect pruning and watering. So, if you think your tree has a problem, don’t hesitate to call a reputable arborist for a professional consultation. 

A team like SoutheastTree can diagnose your tree using various techniques, like a scratch test, bud inspection, and flexibility test. Not all sick trees need removal. Perhaps, it just needs water to regain its health.  

However, if the tree is dead, it’s better to remove it quickly to avoid injuries and property damage. Be sure to hire a tree removal expert for the job.

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance in Georgia

Can a dead tree have green leaves? Like a dormant tree, a dead tree won’t have green foliage, so you may need to look for other signs. If you need help, SoutheastTree is a go-to local tree health specialist for a wide range of services, including the following:

  • Tree removal 
  • Tree trimming and pruning 
  • Emergency tree service

Don’t wait; contact SoutheastTree at 770-977-8733 (TREE) to schedule a free estimate, learn why a tree needs to be removed, or ask for emergency services in Marietta, Georgia.


SoutheastTree is one of the best, top rated full-service tree removal companies serving the Atlanta, GA area. Our team of trained arborists are experts in the art and science of removing trees.

Contact Us

4710 Lower Roswell Rd. Suite 100
Marietta, GA 30068

Phone : 770-977-8733 (TREE)

24/7 Emergency Tree Removal:
(678) 631-7382

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