Ignoring the signs of a dangerous tree on your property is simply asking for trouble. Although it can be difficult to make the call to remove a tree, it's better to err on the side of caution so you can avoid the chances of property damage or injury. The following are signs that it may be time to bring down a tree.
When the branches on a tree begin to die, disease or pests may be in a winning battle with the tree. In some cases, dead branches may also indicate that the roots or interior of the tree is beginning to die. A single dead branch here or there isn't of much concern, although you should have them promptly removed to prevent falling deadwood. The sign a tree needs to come down is when the branches are systematically beginning to die, such as from the bottom up or from the top down.
Another sign of a dying tree is when the bark begins to peel off. The living area of the trunk is just beneath the bark. This is where the active system is transporting water and nutrients between the canopy and the roots. Peeling bark leaves the tree exposed and makes it impossible for this exchange to occur. Also, trees won're regrow missing bark. This means they can recover from a slight wound to the trunk, but the wholesale loss of bark spells the demise of the tree.
Some lean is normal, especially if it's gradual and toward the light. A problem is when your tree's trunk begins to lean drastically in one direction. This can indicate root failure or root rot. A leaning tree becomes a major concern if it is accompanied by exposed roots or heaving soil, especially on one side of the trunk. In this case, call for an emergency removal before the whole tree simply falls over.
Cracked or splitting trunk
If cracks or splits begin to form in the trunk or in the crotch of the tree, then chances are that the tree won't survive. Both are signs of the tree rotting from within. In rare cases a split trunk can be splinted and saved, but in most cases disease and pests will move in and lead to the tree's death. This is also true if a major limb splits from the trunk.
For more help, contact a tree service company in your area.