Your dead tree may pose a harmful threat to your property and human life in the event of a disaster. Knowing the possibilities and consequences of keeping a dead tree in your yard can lead you to an informed decision about its fate.
toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on how to determine whether to keep or remove a dead in your yard and how it can be repurposed either way.
My Tree Is Dead
A tree, like every other living thing, will eventually die. What to do with it when it dies depends on the following factors:
Diseased Tree – If your tree met its demise due to disease, remove it from your yard. Diseases that infect and kill trees are highly transmissible to plants, shrubs, and other trees.
Insect Infested Tree – If your tree died from insect infestation problems, or became infested after it died, have that tree removed immediately. Insects, especially boring insects, can multiply quickly and spread even faster.
Root Rot – Many tree diseases attack the root system and typically occur in poorly-drained soil, causing root rot. Trees dying or dead from root rot can fall at any time, even in the mildest of weather conditions. Trees with this condition should be removed as quickly as possible.
Leaning Tree – If your dying or dead tree starts to lean, take immediate action to have it removed before it loses its center of gravity and falls. For example, a poplar tree that grew to over 100 feet high and weighed well over 10,000 pounds would obliterate whatever it landed on.
Overstory Trees – These are trees that reach or exceed 60 feet in height. Dead overstory trees should be removed to prevent catastrophic damages if they were to fall.
Understory Trees – These are trees that reach heights below 50 feet. In fact, these trees are generally between 12 and 20 feet tall. A dead understory tree can be left in place if:
• After a tree hazard assessment, it is found that the tree poses little to no threat to its surroundings.
• The tree remains disease free and free from infestation.
• Your municipality’s tree ordinance does not require its removal.
For more information about tree hazard assessments, visit toddsmariettatreeservices.com/why-do-i-need-tree-hazard-assessment/
Realistically, there are very few circumstances that support leaving a dead tree standing. However, if these circumstances permit, there is much you can do with the tree.
What To Do With My Dead Tree
Have the tree wholly removed by a professional tree service, unless a certified arborist declares your tree safe. There are many repurposing options for your tree in the following scenarios.
If your tree must be taken down and is free from infestation and disease, consider the following:
• Have the tree cut up for firewood.
• Have the tree turned into wood chips for use as organic mulch.
• Turn the tree into a part of your landscape. As it decomposes, it will provide shelter for wildlife, natural fertilizer for the earth below it, and bark eating animals will have a long-lasting food source.
If your tree poses no immediate threat and remains in place, it can be used for the following:
• A standing dead tree, known as a stag, can serve your local wildlife as a sanctuary.
• Paint and decorate your tree to become a conversation piece in your yard.
• Turn the tree into a bird and squirrel feeder (stick seeds and nuts to it using honey and/or peanut butter.
• Apply seasonal decorations to liven up your yard during holidays and events.
Tip: If you add lights to your tree, use an LED type light which generates minimal heat and make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use. As your dead tree dries out, it will naturally become more flammable.
Note: Some tree species like aspen or eucalyptus are self-pruning when living (they drop branches suddenly) and should not be left standing after dying. Once dead, self-pruning trees can pose a higher risk of personal injury or property damage as they lose their limbs.
For more ideas about recycling or repurposing a fallen tree, visit toddsmariettatreeservices.com/repurpose-recycle-leave-fallen-tree/
Dead Tree Removal
In this article, you discovered what factors determine the necessity to remove or the ability to keep a dead tree in your yard and what purpose it can serve.
By having your dead tree evaluated by an arborist, you can make an informed decision about the next part of the tree’s journey and purpose.
Your failure to address a dead tree in your yard may result in fines imposed by your municipality, the spread of an infestation or disease, and if the tree should fall, catastrophic damages to your property and/or wellbeing.