How can I tell if my tree is dead?

The easiest way to tell if your tree is dead is to do a scratch test. Using your fingernail, lightly scratch away at the bark of the tree until you can see the inner layer. If the tree is alive, the inner layer will be a vibrant green. But if it is dead, the inner layer will be brown and often spongy to the touch.

If you see dead wood, it typically will be at the tip of a branch/stem. Do the test a few inches down the tree. When we send trees out we do a visual check first, but if you find your tree dies back from the tip beyond the ⅓ that you pruned off, please let us know within the 90 day period of our guarantee to discuss further action. Occasionally if a graft fails, the top part of the tree may leaf out then die back to the rootstock; this happens less than 1% of the time, but it does happen once or twice each spring.

What do I do if my plant is dead?

If your plant is dead and it falls within our 90 Day Guarantee, email us at with a description of the problem and at least one clear photo showing it. If your plant died after the 90 day period, you are welcome to let us know and we can try to help figure out what went wrong.

If only the tip of a fruit tree died back, we generally recommend pruning down to a few inches below the dead part after sending us pictures. We may offer partial store credit in these situations.