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How to Remove a Dead Tree

How to Remove a Dead Tree

Trees are an important part of a landscape – they make it beautiful, hide its not-so-attractive parts, and keep it cool in the summer heat. They also clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink and provide food and shelter to a variety of animals. Trees are simply a gift of nature. 

However, despite these impressive benefits, when trees die, they pose a danger to both humans and the surrounding environment and must be removed before they have a chance to fall. In this post, we share important tips on how to remove a tree properly and the risks associated with dead trees. We also tell you why you should enlist the services of a professional tree removal company. Ready?

Risks of Having a Dead Tree on Your Property

It attracts pests

Pests love dead or dying trees. Carpenter ants, termites, and other wood-boring bugs will seek out such trees and make them their home. These insects will breed and multiply quickly, putting the nearby plants in danger of being infected. 

It could fall

When a tree is dead, it is not able to support itself properly, making it a potential hazard. There is no sure way to tell when a dead tree will fall, but it is pretty obvious that it will topple over at some point. And when this does happen, the tree could land on your car, your house, your fence, or even someone, causing serious injury. In all of these events, you will be legally required to pay for any repairs or medical care that may be needed as a result. 

It’s not attractive

A dead tree just isn’t pretty. Every homeowner wants their property to look beautiful, and that’s one of the reasons for adding some trees to it. When a tree does not have leaves, has its back peeling off or its branches falling off, the curb appeal is greatly impacted, which potentially reduces the value of the property. 

How to Remove a Dead Tree

Removing a tree is not a complicated process. However, certain steps must be followed to ensure safe removal. Here is how to remove a dead tree properly:

  1. Check the surrounding area for another tree, a fence, overhead utility lines, or any other obstacles that may hinder the safe felling of the tree. 
  2. Inspect the tree itself for dead or hanging branches, open wounds, and other safety hazards. Wounds, however, could be a sign that the center of the tree is rotten or hollow, and felling such a tree would be best left to an expert. A professional tree surgeon will be able to control how the tree falls to make sure it doesn’t fall prematurely and endanger the surrounding environment. There are many tree removal services in Rochester that can help you get rid of your tree safely; just make sure the one you hire is certified to do this kind of job.  If your tree is not wounded, you can go ahead and fell it yourself. 
  3. Put on safety equipment to prevent injuries. Depending on the tree size, you will need a helmet, respirator, safety goggles, protective chaps, gloves, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and hearing protection.  
  4. Stand back and examine the direction the tree leans naturally; to obtain the best fall, you should follow the tree’s natural angle of incline. If your tree leans to the right, for instance, cut it such that it will fall to the right. Make sure, however, to establish an escape route that leads away from the estimated fall line that you can use while the tree is falling. 
  5. Make a 70 ° cut facing the side you want your tree to fall and remove a ¼ of the tree’s diameter. Then turn your axe or saw sideways and cut the tree horizontally, keeping the cut as flat as possible; this will help maintain an even and predictable fall. Continue cutting until there is only 1/10 of the tree diameter left. 
  6. Pull your axe or saw out and take our escape route as the tree begins to fall. If you are cutting a smaller tree that does not fall over immediately, push it on the hinge towards the direction you want to fell it. 
  7. Dig out your stump. In the case of small trees, you can dig the stump out using a shovel. For larger trees, however, drill about six holes into the stump and apply stump chemical remover into each of the holes. The chemical will rot the stump and make it easy to remove. 

Reasons You Need to Hire an Expert for Dead Tree Removal   

While most people will prefer uprooting their dead trees themselves to save money, this undertaking can turn out to be pretty dangerous especially for those who haven’t felled a tree before. Here is why enlisting the services of a professional is recommended:

Injury to Yourself and Others 

There are numerous ways you can injure yourself while removing a dead tree. You could accidentally hit an electrical line and become electrocuted, a falling limb could knock you off the ladder, or you could slide and fall on your own. DIYing your tree removal could also injure others nearby, leaving you with a lifetime of regret. 

Unexpected Fall

A tree expert knows which direction a tree will fall just by observing its shape, structure, and angle of inclination. Once the final cut is made, gravity takes over and not much can be done at this point to control where the tree falls. Some companies will even bring cranes to help guide the fall and minimize risk. 

Cleaning Up

Once a dead tree has been uprooted, the remains must be removed as well. The cleaning will involve moving all the wood and raking and clearing off the pathways and driveways. This task often takes up more time than the tree removal itself. When you hire a professional to get your tree removed, cleaning is typically included in the package. 


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