A Guide to Dead Trees in Your Yard

Fall has arrived, which means the leaves on your trees are likely falling as well. This is to be expected – most trees lose their leaves in this season. However, do you know if your trees are generally healthy? Would you be able to identify if one were dead and therefore a potential hazard to your family and property?

If not, Neighborly has the guide for you! When you know what you’re looking for, identifying dead trees is relatively simple. This blog will equip you with the information needed to decide when it’s time to remove a tree, dead or alive, and how to remove one yourself if necessary.

 Why Remove a Dead Tree?

It’s not tough to grasp that if a tree is dead, it can pose a threat to your property and should be removed. Here are some of the top reasons to remove a dead tree from your property:

  • Dead trees attract pests
  • Dead trees are a fire hazard
  • Dead trees may carry contagious “tree diseases”
  • Dead trees are unattractive/damaging to your property value

Is My Tree Dead?

You know it’s important to remove a dead tree, but do you know if your tree is actually dead? Here are some key indicators that you need to take action:

  • Heaving soil at the base of the tree
  • Fungi at the base of the tree
  • Chipped/peeling/cracked bark
  • Dead or hanging branches
  • Skinny twigs without buds at the end of branches

Try the twig test! Break a twig in half – if it’s green inside, it’s alive, and if it’s brown, it’s dead. In addition, if you can break the twig easily with little arching, you know it’s dead wood. You can also do this test on larger trees by scratching the bark at the base of the tree.

Why Remove a Living Tree?

Did you know? There are instances when a living tree should be removed, too. You might be thinking, “It’s alive! Why should I remove a perfectly healthy tree?” Sometimes, removing a tree has nothing to do with its health. You should remove a living tree if it interferes with:

  • Other trees
  • Buildings
  • Driveways
  • Utility wires

How to Remove a Tree by Yourself

You’ve identified a tree in your yard that needs to be removed. What’s next? Use these simple step-by-step instructions to help remove a tree by yourself if necessary.

Note: These are simplified steps to get you started. You may want to consult the professionals before proceeding. Continue reading – we know some good ones!

  1. Check for objects in the area that might get in your way
  2. Identify which way the tree is leaning
  3. Establish two escape routes in the event the tree doesn’t fall how you anticipate
  4. Choose your saw – A handsaw for small trees, a chainsaw for larger trees
  5. Cut a 45 degree “V” into the tree in the direction you want it to fall
  6. Cut about two inches into the opposite side of the tree
  7. Move out of the way!
  8. Remove all branches and cut out the tree stump

If you need to remove a large tree, you should call a professional. The Grounds Guys, a Neighborly brand, are qualified and ready to help with any of your tree-related needs! Give them a call or visit their website.

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