There are some signs of holes on the trunk tree, I wonder if any bugs might have got in and are killing the tree from inside. I don´t see any signs of bugs on the leaves or around the tree. Be sure to test three or four branches to be sure. Indianapolis Tree Service. This is referred to as dieback. Call A Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for prompt If you see any parts of the tree that are already decaying or dead, you should remove them. At the end of November (giving it one full year) if you have seen no improvement, perform the scraping technique on a select amount of lower dead-looking branches, on up to the bottom … Scratching Bark to See if Tree is Alive. The question is whether this will destroy the basic form of the tree such that it will not grow properly and fruit. That's the bottom line. Dead trees often have a combination of visible signs. Fungicides can be sprayed around the tree as well; this will help control the spread of fungi from one tree … Dead tissue is a part of a plant in which all the cells have died and will never come back to life again. Sometimes, you may have to remove an entire tree to prevent the infection spreading to other nearby trees. Sometimes, you might see the top of the tree dead, but the bottom still alive. One of the best ways to determine if a tree or any plant is dead is the tree scratch test. In a living tree, this is green; in a dead tree, it is brown and dry. If it is brittle and dry, the tree is dead. For example, it’s not just that branches aren’t leafing out, but maybe there are also problems with the trunk or unfamiliar growth near the roots. You might see the roots of your tree starting to rot due to a fungal infection or harm done to the bark as a result of an insect invasion. Give it more time. To whom it may concern, I have an aspen (I believe) tree in my back yard that grew up very closely to two others of the same size. If the top of your tree is doing well, the bottom will eventually fill in. Regardless, if the top of the tree is dead, (in this picture it is hard to tell since the tree appears dormant) no harm can be done by pruning off the dead parts. I have a tree that appears to have died at the top but is alive at the bottom. Top of tree looks dead, how to address? From about eye level and above, no leaves have come out this year. How To Identify A Dead Tree. Asked May 15, 2017, 1:11 PM EDT. If the inner tissue is moist and green, the tree is alive. Just beneath the dry, outer layer of bark in a tree’s trunk lies the cambium layer of bark. Pull a few twigs from the tree and scratch a portion of the bark off. There are a huge variety of causes of tree diseases, the symptoms of which differ just as vastly. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Dead Wood .