By Jack Fink

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – They’re an accident waiting to happen: Dying and dead trees standing yards, near homes, driveways, even your neighbor’s house.

So the Texas Forest Service is now warning home and property owners to remove dead trees before they fall and possibly hurt someone and damage property.

Arborist Cody Davis says they’re dangerous.

“As a tree declines, the wood loses its structural integrity so you could have breaks with no warning, they’re more susceptible to breaks during storms, and you can lose an entire tree near the home,” he said.

The state says if that happens, the property owners can be held liable for damage and cleanup.  Davis and the state say they’re seeing more dead trees in North Texas because of last year’s drought.

There could more than five and a half million of them statewide.

Davis works for Dallas Tree Surgeons. The company says its dead tree removal business has jumped 25 percent from last year.

And their business of treating dying trees has shot up 50 percent in the same time.

“This is the worst we’ve seen for a number of reasons.  Last year’s drought and then this year’s winter has brought a surge in insect problems and disease problems that have all come together to attack trees that were already weak from last year’s drought,” he said.

If you’ve got a dying tree because of last year’s drought, there still may be time to save it.

Davis says make sure it’s getting water, cut off the dead wood, and kill any insects that may have infected the tree.