Trees, like all plants, are living things, which means that over time they can suffer from diseases and other ailments which make them ill. Unfortunately, due to the large size of trees, they represent a serious threat of falling over and damaging nearby structures and other plants if they do die. Knowing some of the warning signs associated with a dead or dying tree can help you act quickly to remove a tree from your yard before it can cause any complications or damage to your property.
Listing and Leaning
One of the most obvious signs that the tree in your yard currently represents a safety hazard to your landscape and property is if it has developed a lean to one side. Leaning can occur suddenly, in the event that the roots or the trunk of the tree become damaged for some reason or slowly over time due to soil conditions, disease, or some other factor.
In any case, a tree whose trunk lists severely to one side represents a serious structural threat, as the weight of the trunk can cause significant amounts of damage to your paved surfaces, your roof, your yard, or even you and your family and pets. Keep in mind that you should also watch out for individual limbs which have died or have begun to crack and bend, as these can indicate the same threat on a slightly smaller scale.
Another relatively clear sign that your tree is not in the best health is if you can spot a large number of insects living within the tree itself. Beetles, carpenter ants, and termites are just some of the pests which can cause structural damage to your tree's trunk and branches while also negatively effecting the health of your tree and making it much more likely to die and collapse. Removing the tree quickly is essential, since you'll want to remove as many of these insects as possible before they are able to spread from a single infested tree to other plants throughout your yard.
Finally, the last major symptom of a dead or dying tree that desperately needs to be removed quickly is if you can see any fungal growth on the tree itself. Mushrooms and other fungi will only grow on dead matter, and their presence around the base of your tree or on the bark of the branches means that they are already working on breaking your tree down—which makes it much more likely that a branch or even the entire tree may fall apart under its own weight very soon.
If you would like to learn more, contact a local arborist.