Trees are natural filters of the atmosphere and they contribute a lot to the sustainability of the environment. But they can also get old and rotten, and sometimes you can’t see the signs until the damage is already done. Here is everything you need to know about a tree going rotten and how to identify it so you can decide whether you should save it or hire tree removal services to cut it down.

The Bark Is Falling

A healthy tree has a lot of strength, which is why it’s able to hold the bark, weight of the leaves, fruits, and flowers all by itself. But over time, if the tree is subject to rotting, it can start to lose its health and the bark can also get weak and brittle.

Ultimately, the end result will be that the bark will fall off the tree. The tree is not strong enough anymore to hold more weight and this is all because of the interior of the tree getting rotted. You need to do something before it’s too late.

The Tree Is Shedding

This is another alarming sign that your tree is rotting from the inside. If the normally healthy tree is suddenly starts shedding leaves, then the rot from the inside may be preventing the leaves from getting their food and nutrients through the roots.

This can lead to the leaves getting wilted, looking slightly brown, and, then ultimately, falling off the tree. It might start out slowly at first, but once the rot gets intense, the falling of the leaves will happen more rapidly, until the tree is fully bare and there isn’t any leaf on it anymore.

There Is No Healthy Bark

One way to find out whether a tree has a healthy bark or not is to shave some part of the bark off and see the color underneath. If the color is green under the bark, then it is healthy and there is no rot inside the tree. However, if there is a brown color under the shaved bark, then that is not normal. This is a sign that the roots are not able to supply nutrients to the tree and that part of the tree is “dead”.

The Tree Is Not Straight

This sign is a very bad indication and there’s nothing you can do to save it. Most trees grow straight up towards the sky. If straight trees suddenly start to kneel and lean onto one side, then it might be because the roots are extremely damaged and the main culprit is the rot that has reached the roots.

Now, this is not the case with trees that are naturally skewed and tend to grow with a lean, but if you see a straight tree suddenly leaning over, then you need to cut down the tree right away because it can’t be salvaged anymore.

You Can See Fungus

Fungus on trees is also a huge sign that it’s getting rotten. Just like any other living thing, if fungus starts to develop, then it means that the thing has gone bad. The fungus can be seen on the bark and branches of the tree. In worse cases, the fungus or mold can penetrate into the trunk and cause even more rotting.

As a consequence, the tree’s health will decline very rapidly and it will stop producing fruits and leaves and the whole tree will look malnourished and in a very bad shape. The fungus can be prevented in the early stages with pesticides, but you need to keep a close eye.

The Existing Branches Are Very Thin

A healthy tree usually has very thick branches, which can support a lot of weight, but the same can’t be said about a rotten tree. If you see that the branches of the tree are extremely thin and brittle and they crack and fall under the slightest impact, then there is definitely something wrong with the tree. It can be rotten from the inside and it’s reached a point where it’s affecting the growth of new branches and leaves. Let arborist services Chevy Chase assess the health condition of your tree.

There Are Wounds On The Tree

Tree wounds are alarming and they need to be looked out for, especially if a tree is getting extremely old. Tree wounds can act as passages that lead to the inside of the tree and rots can form anywhere, if there’s access. Tree wounds are circular or oval shapes, surrounded by lighter-colored borders and they can damage the tree to no extent.

Tree wounds can also be deeper and these ones are responsible for rotting the tree from the inside. This is why you must treat a tree wound as soon as possible because it can be healed and it will prevent the health of the tree from worsening.

Infestation Of Termites

Termites eat away wood, and they can also cause an infestation in the trees. Trees have a natural defense mechanism by which they can protect themselves against fungus and termites, but if they are losing health and getting rotted, then the defense mechanism won’t work and termites can easily take refuge in the branches and the trunk of the tree and penetrate further until there’s nothing left.

This can be very dangerous for the tree and other surrounding plants as well, as termites can easily latch onto neighboring trees and damage them.

No Leaves Or Fruits

This is also a huge sign of a tree getting rotted. If the tree is a fruit or flower tree and it’s evident that there are no leaves or fruits growing on the branches, then this is quite alarming. Along with that, there might not be leaves either, which is a clear indication that the tree has been infested by pests and fungus.

This condition can be very hard to reverse, but it’s important that you take down the tree as soon as possible, otherwise it might fall over and there could be a lot of damage in the surrounding areas. So, before it gets to that, you want to take care of it

The Roots Are Damaged

Last but not least, there might be an issue with the roots of the tree. Roots are responsible for carrying nutrients throughout the tree, from the ground. If this network is tampered with or faulty, because of weather or any other condition, then it might lead to a decline of the health of the tree and ultimately, rotting.

As residential areas increase and there is constant construction everywhere, the machines can pull out the roots of the trees, or sometimes, buildings can get in the way of the growth of the trees. This can lead to the tree not getting enough nutrition from the soil and it can lead to rots forming in the tree, especially if the roots are very damaged and they are unable to replenish the tree. It’s very important, therefore, to look out for damage in the roots, because this is a huge sign of a tree getting decayed.


There you have it! These signs are pretty solid in identifying interior rots in trees and you can do something about it before it’s too late. If the tree dying, consult tree removal companies Kensington for a safe tree removal.

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