Standing deadwood can be an important habitat for wildlife, particularly birds and insects. If you have a dead or dying tree in your yard, you may be wondering whether leaving it in place is a good idea. There is no easy answer to this question since a dead tree can also be a hazard to bpeople and property. The following can help you make a decision on whether removal, or leaving the dead tree in place, is the better option.
Consider the location
Location definitely matters when it comes to a dead tree. If the tree is near a sidewalk, road, or building, removal is the best option. You wouldn't want a storm to bring the tree down and injure somebody or damage your house. A tree located in a back corner of your lot, where your children rarely play and there isn't a whole lot going on, is a different story. It's unlikely that the tree will cause any major damages if it comes down, especially if you use the rest of this guide to help ensure safety.
Discover the cause of death
Cause of death is another concern. If disease or pestilence caused the tree to die, you need to make sure it wasn't anything that could infect other trees growing nearby. A visit from a tree service can help determine the cause of death. In some cases, it is best to have the tree removed and destroyed so any disease pathogens are also removed. On the other hand, if the tree died from age or a disease that is unlikely to spread, you may be able to keep it safely as standing deadwood.
Remove the limbs
If you opt to leave the tree, then you need to have it professionally delimbed. A tree service will remove all of the lateral branches on the tree so there is no danger of them unexpectedly dropping and hurting someone. You can also have the trunk shortened. A shorter trunk means the tree will cover less ground if it does fall. The dead roots will also be supporting less weight once the trunk is delimbed and shortened, which also minimizes the chances of it falling.
You still need to keep an eye on the standing deadwood to make sure it isn't on the verge of falling. You don't want to disturb any wildlife that moves in, so once a month inspections are sufficient. Give the trunk a gentle push to make sure it is still firmly entrenched in the ground. Also, keep an eye on the base of the trunk; if you notice mushroom growth, the roots may be rotting and the tree should be removed.
Contact a tree service company, like Arborcare Tree Service for more help.