Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Zombie Trees

As all our favorite horror movies have taught us, zombies, or the walking dead, may look slightly alive but they’re teetering on the brink of oblivion. We could be talking about a Frankenstein-esque horror movie OR trees!

So what is a zombie tree? One that to our eyes appears to be just fine, but upon further inspection, there is a problem. As cooler (and stormier) weather is finally in the near future, remember to always prep your trees for wind, rain, and snow! 

What are some signs to look for to spot a zombie tree? Check out these tips to keep your trees healthy and safe. remember always contact a certified arborist if you have any questions or concerns.

Seeing fungus among-us? Mushrooms growing out of a tree’s base is not a great sign -fungi typically only grow on decaying wood.

How are the tree’s branches looking? One warning sign is if the branches are bare during a time of the year when they should be covered in leaves. Also keep in mind that on dead branches of deciduous trees, dead leaves will cling well into the winter instead of dropping to the ground as they would on a healthy deciduous tree.

More obvious signs include holes or missing bark. Severe damage to the trunk of a tree can greatly affect the likelihood of your tree’s survival. If the tree has large, open wounds throughout its trunk or is missing large pieces of bark this typically means the tree is compromised. While looking at the tree, take a peek at the bark – or lack thereof.

When a tree ages, old bark will fall off on its own and eventually be replaced by a new layer of bark if the tree is healthy. If new bark doesn’t reappear and areas of smooth wood remain, this can be an indicator your tree’s health is on the decline.

Worried your tree could be among the living dead? The most reliable way to check is to have a certified arborist inspect the tree in person and work out a plan. If any trees do have to come down – the good news is you can replace trees for FREE through our Riversmart Homes Program!

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