Should Dead Trees be Cut Down?

Dead trees can be a huge annoyance. They are not only an eyesore but can also turn out to be dangerous. Dead trees are prone to falling which can destroy property. A lot of people get confused about whether they should remove a dead tree or not.

Let’s take a look at whether you should cut down a dead tree and how dangerous they can be?

Dead trees are prone to falling thus it is recommended to remove them as soon as possible. It is especially important to get the tree cut down if it is located in a dense neighborhood or near a road, driveway, park, or a house.

should dead trees be cut down thumbnail

Are Dead Trees Dangerous?

Dead trees can be dangerous because of a variety of reasons.

Dead Trees Can Attract Pests

Dead trees can become a home to a lot of pests like termites, carpenter ants, and other insects. Once infested, they can multiply very quickly and can potentially spread to other plants, trees killing them.

Pest infestation weakens a tree’s structure which makes it more susceptible to falling down.

Prone to Falling Down

Dead trees are much more prone to falling down when compared to live trees. The structural integrity of a dead tree is much less and any strong gusts of wind or a storm can topple the tree.

For more information, I would refer to my article about What trees are most likely to fall in the wind.

Once the large structural roots start to rot, it can really undermine the strength of the trunk.

The branches of a dead tree can also fall down without warning.

A tree that is prone to falling down can also cause a lot of economic damage by destroying nearby property.

Here is a list of signs tree is going to fall

How to Recognize A Dead Tree?

Some of the most telling signs of a dead tree are lack of foliage and peeling off bark from the trunk. The roots of the tree might also be exposed.

You can also contact an Arborist to find out the correct state of your tree.

I would also recommend you check this article for more info.

How Long Does It Take for A Dead Tree to Fall?

The time it takes for a dead tree to fall can depend on a lot of factors. The size of the tree will be a very big factor.

A lot of really large trees tend to fall rather quickly as their weak trunks are not able to support the rest of the tree.

The type of timber also plays a very big role. Softwood trees will fall relatively quickly when compared to hardwood trees.

Another factor to take into account is the amount of moisture in the ground. More moisture makes the roots and timber rot quicker. Rotting in turn makes the timeline even shorter.

It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to 50 years for a dead tree to fall. If you have noticed that your tree has been dead for quite some time, contact a professional and remove the tree right away.

Should You Cut Down A Dead Tree?

Dead trees can be a really big eyesore. If there is a dead tree in your backyard, it can ruin the whole look. Think of a tree that doesn’t have any leaves, the branches are falling off and its bark is peeling off. Having dead trees can also depreciate the value of the property.

And as I mentioned above, they can be really dangerous for your property as well. Even a dead tree can bring down electric lines or destroy your house. Most importantly, people can also get hurt in the process.

Do You Need to Hire A Professional for Removing A Dead Tree?

If you are dealing with a very small tree, less than 10 feet, then you can get the job done yourself.

Keep in mind that if the tree is near any property then removing the tree will be tricky.

On the other hand, if you are dealing with a large tree, especially if you don’t have prior experience in removing trees, it is recommended to call a professional.

They will take care of the entire logistics and make sure the tree is removed safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you decorate or paint on a dead tree?

If you don’t want to remove the tree right away, you can decorate or paint it. But make sure it is known to people that the tree is prone to falling.

Can you protect a dead tree from rotting?

There is not a lot you can do to protect a tree from rotting. You can put some waterproof tarp or plastic covering near the base of the tree to prevent the surrounding soil from getting wet as moisture accelerates rot.

Can you determine which side a tree will fall?

In some cases, you can predict to which way the tree is falling by the trees leaning towards one side, especially if the leaning is more than 15%. The leaning alone will not be enough though, especially if the tree has larger branches growing in the opposite direction.


Dead trees can be really dangerous, not only are they more prone to falling but can also spread insects and diseases as well as ruin the scenery. Unnoticed dead trees can be especially dangerous, they can injure people and fall on properties. It is very important to cut down and remove dead trees. You can also hire a professional to make sure this is done in a safe manner.

Recommended reading:

Scroll to Top