Dead trees and dangers of

Dying pine tree in my neighborhood, June 2014

The trees on your property can be very beautiful and provide needed shade, however if a tree is dying or already dead it should be removed immediately so that it does not cause problems. Note that dying trees that are not in danger of falling on people or structures can be allowed to die on there own as these trees can serve as places for various species of wood peckers to find food and a place to nest. Dead trees near your home however can pose many dangers.
The wood in a dead tree can become brittle and break. Injuries caused by falling branches or limbs can range from minor cuts and bruises to death. Not only can someone be injured but if the dead tree is on your property when that person is injured you may be responsible for paying for the injured party’s medical bills plus pain and suffering.
Because dead trees are susceptible to breakage if they are nearby power and utility lines and a large branch were to fall it could cause damage. Power and utility outages could result for you and many of your neighbors leaving people who depend on electric medical devices, the elderly, and others in danger if they lose power. In addition if telephone lines are damaged the 911 emergency phone systems could be affected further endangering those in your neighborhood.
If a dead tree or one of its branches falls onto your house, vehicle, or garage the damage could be catastrophic. In addition to possibly causing injuries to people and pets, it can also cost tens of thousands of dollars or even more to repair damage. If the tree were to fall onto your neighbor’s property you could be responsible for paying your neighbor’s repair bill as well as any resulting injuries.
While a completely dead tree is easy to identify a tree may be in danger even while some of its foliage is still looks healthy. Consider these questions when deciding on whether to remove a tree:
– How healthy is the tree? If at least 50% of the tree is damaged it probably should be removed.
– Is there trunk damage? Vertical cracks, dead branch stubs, and large older wounds suggest internal decay. If the damaged area is less than 25% of the circumference of the trunk the wound could gradually heal over.

– Are there large dead branches? Large trees that have had their tops broken or large damaged limbs are a danger to people and property. If less than 25% of branches are damaged tree will probably survive.

– Are all dead branches on one side of tree? If so the tree will be lopsided and potentially hazardous.

– Is the tree leaning? Leaning trees are more of a hazard than those growing vertically.

Some homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the cost of dead tree removal in order to prevent the damage that may occur if the tree were to fall. Some insurance policies may exclude damage caused by dead trees altogether. Make sure to check your insurance policy to find out what is and isn’t covered when it comes to dead trees.


Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about dead or dying trees and their removal.


Complete Home Services, located in the North Georgia Mountains provides Housecleaning, Window washing, Gutter Cleaning, Yard Services and Landscaping in Union County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia and Towns County Georgia. For your landscaping needs visit our VistaScapes website at


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