How to Perform a Bark Test

How to check if a plant is alive, dead or dormant

There are many reasons you may wish to perform a scratch bark test, especially with deciduous plants as they regrow their leaves after winter. Check out our video below on how to perform a bark test and why you would need to do this.

‘How to do a bark test’ Video

Dormant plants and trees may wake up a little later than usual if the weather conditions are not ideal. The easiest way to check if they are going to come back is to see if they are still alive by doing a bark test.

Simply scratch off a little bit of the top layer with a knife or your thumbnail. If the tissue is wet and green the plant is completely healthy. But if it is dry and brown this means the stem is no longer alive.

Updated on April 12, 2023

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