Did you know a dead tree that is not a threat to people or property can be a useful tool in nature? Many creatures and living organisms look to these decaying surfaces for their habitat.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, standing dead trees or snags can:
- Promote growth of beneficial mosses and fungi
- Provide cover and forage for insects and spiders
- Support nesting and roosting for birds among branches & broken tops
- Serve as dens and food storage for mammals
If a snag falls and becomes a downed tree, it is still beneficial as a lookout, feeding site, or thermal refuge for wildlife. As it decomposes, essential nutrients are released into the soil.
So, the next time you notice a dead tree in the landscape, if it is not an eyesore and does not present a hazard to people or property, remember its natural value in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and consider leaving it in place.