Trees are pretty long-lived in comparison to other plants, but they do not live forever. In nature, after a tree dies, it eventually gets knocked over and begins decaying on the forest floor. Of course, this is not an ideal outcome when a tree is in your yard. A dead, falling tree may damage your home and property, and you probably don't want rotting wood in your yard, either. As such, the best approach is usually to have a dead tree removed before it falls over. Here are the signs that your tree is dead and should be removed.

Many Leafless Branches

It's not uncommon or unusual for a tree to have several branches die and lose leaves. But when this happens to a lot of branches at once, it often means the tree, as a whole, is dying. Often the problem will start near the crown of the tree. The top, uppermost branches will die first, and then those below them will start dying. 

Peeling Bark

Bark is a living tissue. If the bark stops receiving water and nutrients from the tree's vascular tissues, it will soon die and start peeling. Usually, tree bark only starts peeling once a tree has had a bad fungal infection for some time. The fungi get into the tree's vascular tissues, preventing them from adequately hydrating the bark. By the time bark starts peeling, a tree may already be dead, or it will die soon. Trees that are killed by fungal infections of the vascular tissue become very weak and fall down easily, so make sure you have this tree removed ASAP.

Fungal Growths

A tree can often fight off a mild fungal infection that causes spotty leaves and maybe a few small cankers on its twigs. But if a tree has more serious signs of a fungal infection, such as big mattes on the bark or brackets growing out of the trunk, the tree is unlikely to recover. Even if it still has a few green branches, those branches are likely weeks from death. The best solution for a tree with a serious fungal infection is removal, which will not only keep the tree from falling, but also help protect other trees nearby from contracting the same disease. 

Having a dead tree removed is a lot easier and more responsible than letting it fall on its own. If your tree has peeling bark, fungal growths, or many leafless branches, call a tree removal company soon.