Living Smart: 5 reasons you should remove a dead tree

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Severe winds, harsh storms and wood-boring bugs can brutally assault your trees.

Ultimately, certain problems like these can kill a tree.

Even if your tree has died from an inadequate water or nutrient supply, you should still consider having it removed.

If you notice a tree might be dying, you should call an arborist to assess it. The sooner you catch the problem, the less costly tree removal is — and you may actually save it.

If the tree has died, consider the costs of hiring a professional tree service to remove it. In some cases, they may need a crane for the job.

Renting the equipment will add to the cost, and, in addition, it’s more difficult to access the tree with a crane, depending on its location.

Whatever you decide, it’s usually best to remove a dead tree from your lawn. Here’s why:

1. Dead trees attract pests

Your tree may be dead or is in the process of dying, but that doesn’t mean wildlife won’t build a nest there.

In fact, while a nice family of bluebirds may move in, your tree might also attract rats and termites. Both pests can migrate the short distance to your home.

2. Dead trees are unattractive

Dead trees aren’t aesthetically pleasing. If you spend money on other aspects of landscaping, you’re counteracting those upgrades with the unappealing look of a dead tree.

Curb appeal helps your neighborhood and can bring in more cash when it comes time to sell.

3. Tree diseases are contagious

If your tree died from — or is currently dying from — a tree disease, other plants can contract that disease.

Powdery mildews can develop on the branches and trunks, and leaves become susceptible to chlorosis, where they lose their lush green color and become yellow or lime green.

So if you planted flowers underneath your tree, or you planted other trees in the general vicinity, the same disease may infect these live and healthy plants.

4. Branches may fall

Weakened branches from dead trees may fall on a windy day or during a storm. In actuality, these branches may fall at any given time, causing destruction to your home or property.

They’re also a liability if they fall on your neighbor’s property.

Don’t forget, animals and people may walk underneath the tree and suffer a serious injury, if not death, from being hit by a branch.

5. Dead trees are more likely to topple over

Decay and decomposition compromise the integrity of the tree.

Whichever way the tree falls, it may damage your home or your neighbor’s property, or injure your family or passersby.———

(Christine DiMaria is a reporter at Angie’s List