You might have a tree in your yard that you suspect has died and wonder whether you need to have it cut down. You might think, what's the harm in leaving it in the backyard? However, that's not a wise thing to do.
Reasons Not To Leave a Dead Tree in Your Backyard
In the bush or in a wild setting, a dead tree doesn't necessarily cause a problem. Animals might create nests and make the hollow trunk their home. In a backyard, however, a dead tree can cause issues. It can become infested with termites, which may move on to the wood elements in your home. Plus, rodents like rats may decide to live in the tree, so you'll have pests living in your backyard.
Another reason to remove a dead tree from your property is for safety reasons. A hollow branch is weakened, and it could crash to the ground at any moment. If a family member or friend is underneath, they may be injured if it falls. It's also crucial to know what caused a tree to die. If it succumbed to disease, then you need to be aware of this. Otherwise, the disease may spread to other plants and bushes.
Thus, you should remove a tree if it's dead. But how do you absolutely know whether it is diseased or dead? An arborist can let you know. However, here are some clues to look for so that you can do a quick assessment yourself before calling the expert.
Clues That May Indicate a Tree Is Diseased or Dead
One place to look when examining a tree is the trunk. If you notice fungus growing, this could be a sign that it's diseased and hollow inside. Another sign of disease is if you see smooth bare areas of the trunk without any bark. While bark periodically falls off, it's usually replenished with new growth. However, if that doesn't happen and the trunk remains bare in spots, the tree is struggling.
Other places to look are within the foliage and branches. In winter, it might be hard to judge whether a deciduous tree is doing well or not by the foliage growth. Deciduous trees lose their leaves every winter. However, if some branches are bare of foliage while others are flourishing in the spring or the summer, the empty branches may be dead and should be selectively cut off. You can also check for inconsistent growth on other trees that have foliage all year round.
Another sign to look for is a tree that has started to lean that was previously upright. This can suggest a problem with the root system, which should hold the tree upright.
If any trees are struggling or you suspect they're diseased or dead, have an arborist perform a check and possibly undertake a tree removal. That way, disease won't freely spread throughout your garden, and you'll prevent possible injuries.