SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Warm days, blue sky and still no rain. Month after month of hot, dry days has many people wondering if the trees in their yards are dead or alive.

NewsChannel 3 spoke with a local arborist Friday to find out how to tell the difference.

Julie Broughton, a certified aborist with Branch Out Tree Care in Santa Barbara, said the lack of rain combined with unusually high temperatures back in January put many trees in shock, like Birch trees, which thrive in colder climates.

Some are brown from trunk to tree top, without a green leaf on them, but Broughton said chances are they're still alive.

"The trees got really confused on to what they're supposed to do," said Broughton. "That's why you see a lot of yellow leaves and brown leaves and trees dying -- or looking like they're dying -- they're really just kind of hybernating til it gets better."

Broughton said bud growth on a tree branch is a key sign it's still alive.

Fungus, insect infestation and trees stooping sideways are likely signs a tree is dead.

Broughton recommends deep watering, once a month, for about two hours and place the hose nozzle at the edge of the tree's canopy.

For more information, you can reach Broughton at branchouttreecare.com.