How To Spot Dead Tree Branches in Citrus Heights, CA

You may be surprised that it can be hard to recognize dead tree branches if you’re not a professional. Identifying dead branches is important because they can become a safety hazard for you, your property, and anyone who visits. You’re going to need a tree service company in Citrus Heights, CA, to diagnose if you have dead or dying branches that could cause issues.

Identifying Dead Branches

One of the first indicators that your branches are dead is to look at the leaves. While some trees take some time to get their leaves after winter, if your tree doesn’t have any sign of leaves by the end of summer, you’ve got a serious problem.

If you’re trying to determine the health of your tree during winter, there are no leaves. What do you do? Look for tree buds. If there are no signs of buds, which are little dots at the end of tree branches, then it’s possible your tree is dead or is dying. 

There is an exception to that rule. Evergreen trees stay green all year round. One way to tell if this type of tree is dying is if the first needles to fall are farthest from the trunk at the end of the branches.

What Causes Dead Branches?

Some of the common reasons that branches die stem from pests, such as termites, beetles, ants, etc. If you spot an infestation early enough, you may be able to save the tree branches. If you see loose bark or holes in the leaves, then there’s a good chance an insect infestation has infiltrated the tree branch. 

Some other reasons include: 

  • Drought
  • Damage
  • Disease
  • Branch dieback

Contacting an arborist for tree healthcare and proper pruning will help prevent further damage to your tree. 

Signs of Dead Branches

There are a few signs that could indicate whether a tree branch is dead or dying, such as visual or seasonal.


Some of the more obvious signs of dead tree branches are a lack of leaves, peeling bark, and brittle texture.

To see if a branch is dead, scratch the bark and see if there’s any sign of green underneath. Green means growth.

There’s also a “snap test.” This test involves taking a twig and bending it. If it bends, it lives. If it snaps, it’s dead.


Trees change during the seasons, from leaves dropping in fall to renewal in spring. Not all types of trees follow this set pattern, so you’ll need to be aware of the types of trees you have on your property.

Risks of Ignoring Dead Branches

By ignoring dead branches, you could be putting people at risk of injury or property damage from falling limbs. Dead limbs can fall unexpectedly and are more likely to succumb to strong winds than other parts of the tree. Even an animal climbing on the branch could cause it to fall. 

Additionally, tree branch decay can allow pests and diseases to invade the tree, impacting its health. 

What To Do When You Spot Dead Branches

If you find dead tree branches, the first thing you should do is contact a certified arborist for tree limb removal.

You should also call an arborist for dead branch trimming if you have:

  • Large Branches
  • High Branches
  • Trees Near Power Lines

Pruning dead branches is a good way to keep your trees healthy. Preventative tree maintenance from an arborist will keep your trees flourishing. If you need help with bad tree pruning or deadwood removal in Citrus Heights, CA, contact Ace Tree Service at (916) 934-3204 to get your tree back on the road to health.