You've slowly watched it die away. That stunning oak, dogwood, or pine in the garden just isn't going to make it this year. It's time to face the fact that your favorite tree is dead. But what do you do with dead trees in the yard? Before you go to cut down a dead tree, take this advice into account:
According to Organic Gardening, the best way to deal with dead trees isn't necessarily to cut them down.
Prune the tree so that no dangerous limbs could cause damage or injury but only cut the entire tree down if it is a threat to your property.
Dead Trees Can Be Havens for Wildlife
Dead trees are perfect for cavity-nesting birds and bark beetles that form tunnels in the wood. You can even attract woodpeckers by drilling holes in the trunk and filling them with suet. Sap-producing trees, such as a birch trees attract anglewing butterflies, and many small insects, including ants. Hummingbirds look for holes made in trees by sapsuckers. The hummingbirds eat the insects that have been attracted to the sap in the holes.
Species like salamanders depend on the security and dampness of soil found beneath a rotting log. Additionally, small mammals find cover and relief from the hot midday sun in dead limbs and downed wood, while spiders, beetles, worms, and microbes move and feed within the decaying matter. In fact entire eco-systems are formed in dead trees including fungi and mushrooms which flourish on and around logs, according the Ohio State School of Forestry.
Prior to European colonization, much of the east coast was covered by dense forestland that had a substantial number of dead and dying trees. It was a great time for cavity-nesting birds, squirrels and the like. For wildlife conservationists, dead trees are actually a truly important habitat that supports a number of critical species.
If you're not sure what to do with your dead or dying tree, consult an arborist.
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