How Long Can a Dead Tree Remain Standing?

How long can a dead tree remain standing? The answer varies between days and decades because numerous factors are at play. In this post, Tree Workers of Phoenix, your trusted tree removal service in Phoenix, explains more about what causes tree falling.

When Should You Consider Tree Removal? 

Tree care is usually all about saving the plant. However, sometimes it’s better to call it a day. It’s sad to say goodbye to a beautiful old tree, and no one likes having contractors trampling their yards, but sometimes you have to. 

Tree decay and root rot are difficult to predict, so if your plant is dead, it’s best to get it out as soon as possible. 

The alternative is to hope there’s no damage if it falls in the next storm. If it’s in the middle of a field, this is plausible as long as no people or animals are sheltering under it. In a built-up area, the risk is too high. 

What Determines How Long the Tree Stands For? 

Several factors come into play when it comes to how long can a dead tree remain standing. It’s difficult to say for sure without a proper risk assessment. Even with a full evaluation, an arborist can only make an educated guess based on: 

  • Tree health: If the tree was relatively healthy when it died, it should stand for longer. This includes considering whether the tree stop growing due to natural causes or external factors. For example, it will stand longer if hit by lightning rather than dying of a fungal disease, which might have caused a gradual decline in growth before the tree’s complete cessation of growth.
  • Sickness Duration: Was the tree ailing for a long time before it died? If so, much of the infrastructure was probably damaged, and the tree will likely fall quickly. The more damage to the roots, the greater the chance it will topple. 
  • Why it died: The reason the tree died may be one of the most important determining factors. Trees with root rot are unable to hold themselves up. Other fungal infections eat the wood from the inside out, leaving soft spots that collapse on themselves. 
  • The species: A hardwood tree, all other things being equal, should stand for longer than a pine tree.
  • The microclimate: In a dry area with little rainfall, the dead tree might stand for longer because of the tightly packed ground around the roots. Or it might dry out faster, making it easier for the wind to knock it down. In a moist climate, the tree may rot more quickly. 
  • Tree hazards and wildlife around it: If rodents and ants burrow into the trunk, it’ll collapse faster than it would in an area without any. 
  • The age and size: Technically, a mature, well-established tree should be harder to topple than a new sapling. 

Contact Tree Workers of Phoenix Today!

Now you can hopefully answer the question, “How long can a dead tree remain standing?” Whether you’re looking at tree removal or saving a half-dead tree, Tree Workers of Phoenix is your go-to company. Call us at (602) 320-2797 for your free estimate today!


Tree Workers of Phoenix has been in business since 1994 and is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and International Society of
Arboriculture (ISA).


18402 N. 19th Ave. #115

Phoenix, AZ 85023

Phone: 602-320-2797

Email :

Hours of Operation :

Monday - Sunday : 9:00am-5:00pm


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