How Long Can a Dead Tree Remain Standing?

How long can a dead tree remain standing? The answer is that it depends on many factors, but probably longer than you realize. In this post, McDaniel Tree Services, your professional tree removal company in Birmingham, explains more. 

Should You Cut it Down? 

We understand you don’t want to say goodbye if a tree in your yard dies, but you must. It could remain standing for many years or topple over in the next windstorm, so leaving it can be risky. 

If it’s in a natural area that hardly anyone uses, you can let nature take its course. A dead tree can remain as a habitat for wildlife, providing shelter and food. Eventually, when it does fall, it releases nutrients into the soil. 

What Factors Determine How Long a Dead Tree Remains Standing? 

The answer to “How long can a dead tree remain standing?” depends on: 

  • What killed it
  • How healthy it was when it died
  • What disease or pest killed it, if applicable
  • The species
  • What wildlife is around
  • What the weather’s like
  • How old the tree is 

For example, hardwoods like oak trees should stand longer than softwoods like pines. That said, a healthy pine tree could stand for a lot longer than an oak ravaged by termites. 

Why Choose a Professional Risk Evaluation? 

There are many things to consider here, but the most important is what happens if the tree falls tomorrow. Will it crash into your home or car? What happens if your children are playing in the garden when it topples over? 

It doesn’t matter how long the tree might stand; what matters is the damage it may cause when it falls and who it might hurt. Another thing to consider is that you might feel that the tree is dead, but a professional might be able to save it.

Signs of a Dying Tree

When your tree is dying, you’ll notice the following signs: 

Many Dead Branches

Don’t panic if you see one dead branch on the ground. If you see several, it’s a different matter. The tree sheds branches because it is too weak to sustain its weight, which is a sure sign it’s dying. 

You should also check how flexible the branches on the tree are and if there is any life in them. 

Trunk Damage

A tree can heal cracks that run horizontally if they aren’t too deep. Vertical splits, on the other hand, are usually deadly. You can use cables to hold the two sides together, but there’s a low chance of recovery. 

Peeling Bark

Peeling bark isn’t always a bad sign, as some trees lose their bark naturally. In other species, this is a sign of distress. If the bark doesn’t grow back or the problem worsens, your tree is ill. 

Contact Us for Help

Now that you know the answer to “How long can a dead tree remain standing?” it’s time to consider reasons to hire a tree care worker. Alternatively, get in touch by calling (205) 308-8270 for your free estimate from McDaniel Tree Services. 

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