It's good practice to have dead trees removed promptly. They can harbor pests, become a refuge for unwanted fungal spores, or fall down and cause damage or injury. Yet, at the same time the wood from the tree can still hold some value for the homeowner. Before having the tree removal service haul it away, consider some of the following uses for the tree.


The most common use for a dead tree is as mulch. Most tree removal companies offer a mulching service. They will bring a mulcher right to your property and mulch the tree and the branches on site. This can provide you with enough mulch to cover all of your garden beds, and to perhaps share some with a neighbor. The only tree you shouldn't consider turning into mulch is black walnut. This tree produces a chemical that discourages plant growth. The chemical can leach from the wood chips when it's used as mulch, resulting in dead garden plants.


Whether you heat with wood, have a fireplace for ambiance, or need fuel for a firepit, your dead tree can provide you with plenty of wood for next year. Request that the tree removal company cuts the trunk into manageable lengths, usually of less than two feet, so that you can easily split the wood for later use. Some companies may even offer to cut the wood into quarter rounds for you, especially if they have a mechanical splitter. Remember that the wood isn't suitable to burn right away. You will need to let it season and dry out for next year.

Decorative uses

Wood from the tree can also be saved for a variety of decorative uses. How you choose to use it depends on the equipment that you have access to as well as your needs. One popular option is to use thick trunk sections as natural paving stones. The trunk is cut into 2-inch thick slabs, which are then sealed against the weather and laid to create pathways. You can also use the slabs to create tabletops for side tables. If you have access to a mill, you can request that the trunk is brought down in large sections. You can then mill the trunk into lumber of usable lengths for both decorative and utilitarian projects.

The key is to be upfront with your tree removal crew. This way they will work with you to bring down the tree in the form that will be most usable for you.