How Long Can a Dead Tree Remain Standing?

How long can a dead tree remain standing? The short answer is that it depends on various factors, such as what killed the tree, how old it is, and many more. In this post, our team at Arbor Green Tree Service LLC, Milford’s tree removal company, discusses these variables in greater detail. 

How Soon Should You Yell, “Timber?” 

As sad as it is having a tree die, it’s best to remove it as soon as possible. In nature, a dead tree is a vital part of the ecosystem, so it can stand for as long as a day or two to one or more years before falling. 

Some trees in the wild continue to stand for decades, providing shade and shelter for wildlife and becoming a vital hub for insect activity. Root rot sets in over time, and these trees do topple eventually, but then they become a source of nutrients. 

What Influences How Fast a Tree Falls? 

The timeline depends on: 

  • The tree’s health before it died
  • How long the tree was sick before it died
  • The reason it died 
  • The type of tree
  • The microclimate and wildlife in the area
  • The tree’s age

Why It’s Best to Call a Tree Service in the City

In theory, your tree might stand for decades before falling. When you live in a built-up area, however, you have to worry about risk.

Will the tree fall on a person, home, or other property? If so, you’re liable for any damage it causes. 

Therefore, most professionals will tell you the answer to “How long can a dead tree remain standing?” is unimportant. What is critical is the potential damage it can cause if it falls. 

Signs That Your Tree Is Dying

The following are the most common signs of a dying tree.

Dead Branches

Multiple dead branches are a bad sign. A healthy tree may lose one or two branches to damage, but if it starts dropping several, the tree is in bad shape. 

Also, check for signs of dead branches still attached to the tree. These will not have leaves or buds and may be drier and more fragile. You can check this by scratching the bark to see if there is any sap inside. 

Trunk Damage

Some cracks in the trunk are survivable, but vertical breaks are usually fatal. While cabling may hold the tree together, a crack lengthwise up the trunk will sap the tree’s energy, making it harder for the plant to recover. 

Missing Bark

Some trees naturally shed their bark as they grow. If your tree is not one of these species, missing bark means some kind of distress. Watch the area and see if the tree grows new bark. If it does not, or more bark sloughs away, the tree is in trouble. 

Contact Us Today!

Our experts at Arbor Green Tree Service, LLC, can answer, “How long can a dead tree remain standing?” and tell you other things to know about the trees in your yard. Call us at (203) 615-2496 to schedule a consultation. 

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