Five Reasons to Leave a Dead or Dying Tree

The Ecological Benefits of Dead and Dying Trees

Old tree

Trees are an asset to virtually every property—even snags (another word for dead and dying trees). At every stage of their lives, trees are an essential part of the ecosystem in which they live. Whether standing, fallen, or chopped down to a stump, their existence serves a number of important purposes for flora and fauna alike. Read on to learn five reasons for why you might want to leave your dead tree alone.

  1. Wildlife: many animals use snags as shelter or for food storage. Snags can house all kinds of critters, from bugs to birds. For example, snags are where woodpeckers go to feed on beetle larvae.  Woodpeckers even peck out cavities in which to raise their young. Titmice, bats, and owls utilize existing holes to do the same.
  2. Soil: as a snag decays, the nutrients of its leaves and wood are broken down to enrich different levels of soil, benefiting nearby plant life.
  3. Protection from the winter elements: dead trees create barriers that slow wind-blown snow, trapping it and eventually melting it. The soil then absorbs the melted snow and nearby plants reap the benefits of this newly moisturized soil.
  4. Plantlife: we’ve established that decomposing trees can benefit nearby plants, but it doesn’t stop there. Various forms of fungi and lichen grow on snags.
  5. Fire safety: surprisingly, snags can reduce the chances of a fire spreading on your property. Live trees have needles, twigs, outer bark, and resins that act as kindling. A barren snag is usually made up of larger branches and a trunk that is less flammable because of its density.

Need an Opinion on a Dying or Dead Tree?

Contact a qualified professional at Elite Tree Care to provide an expert evaluation of your snag and give recommendations on whether it can be left standing on your property. Call us at 610-935-2279 today for a free consultation.

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