Vertical cracks, seams, pieces of dead branches, and large, old wounds suggest the presence of internal cavities. Serious damage to the main trunk often justifies the removal of the tree. If the damaged area occupies less than 25 percent of the trunk's circumference, the wound could gradually heal and no permanent injury would result. The dormant season between winter and late spring, when all the leaves have fallen, is the best time of year to cut down a tree.
In fact, frozen soil is preferable for tree removal because it won't alter the surrounding landscape as much as it would if the tree were removed during the warmer months. Tree removal is often a last resort, when no other safe management option, such as pruning or disease mitigation, is sufficient. Dead, dying, or dangerous trees can cause thousands of dollars in damage, in addition to the inestimable cost of personal injury. Often, a tree doesn't seem dangerous until a storm or heavy snowfall exposes its vulnerabilities.
The best time of year to cut down a tree is during winter or early spring, when all the leaves have fallen and the branches are free of them. You may worry that frozen ground will make it difficult to cut down a tree, but the fact is that warm soil is more easily disturbed. At Davey Tree, we pride ourselves on providing fast, professional, and personalized service from certified arborists who live, work and participate in their community. However, just as trees require different care when they grow and thrive, there are a wide variety of factors that go into deciding when it is time to remove that specific tree.
An ISA-certified arborist or tree removal company can evaluate the tree and determine how severely the disease affects it. All tilted trees aren't necessarily dangerous, but a tree that suddenly tilts to one side may have structural problems. Other signs that may indicate that the tree has unwanted pests include emergency holes, feeding galleries and woodpeckers that feed intensively on the tree. If your tree has a less serious problem, one of the best times to remove them is during the dormant season, between late winter and early spring.
As a tree owner, you are responsible for any damage or injury that occurs because a tree that should have been removed was left standing. As you mentioned, if 50% or more of the tree has dead leaves, that's probably a good indication that it's time for the tree to go. You may have heard that it's cheaper to remove trees in winter or that summer will always be the most expensive time to remove trees. Davey provides comprehensive gardening, land management and tree care services on commercial properties throughout North America.
Since every tree is different, it's impossible to say how long a dead tree can stay on your property.