Trees are versatile gifts from nature. They have functional purposes, such as providing shade and privacy, as well as aesthetic purposes, such as brightening and beautifying our landscaping. But despite how attached you are to the trees in your yard, there will be some instances when you have to let them go. It could be due to age, disease, or neglect, but whatever the reason, it’s important to know when it’s time for tree removal. After all, you want a tree that’s pleasing to the eye, rather than one that becomes an unsightly eyesore.
At Mr. Tree, we have decades of experience planting, maintaining, and removing trees from neighborhood yards just like yours.
Here are five ways to know when it’s time for tree removal.
Visible Signs of Rot and Damage
There are many things to look for and take into account when deciding whether it’s time to remove a tree. While some damaged trees are salvageable, many more are not. It’s important that you know the difference. So, what should you look for?
By regular inspection of a tree, you may be able to spot signs of damage early on and restore the health of your tree through the help of an experienced arborist. However, there are some things that will indicate it may be time for tree removal instead.
First, inspect the tree’s trunk. If you see vertical cracks, wounds, or dead branch stubs, it’s a sign that the tree may need to be removed. In general, a large number of dead or falling branches suggest that a tree could be in poor health.
Next, you’ll want to inspect the base of the tree. If you notice sprouts coming from the tree’s base, it’s a sign of structural damage. You’ll also want to check to see if there are any fungi growing near the base of the tree. The presence of fungi could be an indication that there is internal rot or a root disease present. Which leads us to our next sign that tree removal may be needed…
A Compromised Root System
If the root system is compromised, that means the tree will be unable to soak up much-needed nutrients. As a result, you may notice signs such as premature leaf drop, yellowing of the tree’s leaves, or thinning foliage. Wilted brown leaves may also appear in the spring or summer, and the tree may produce an abnormally large amount of seeds and suckers.
If root damage is caught early enough, the tree may have a chance for survival. It’s important to contact your arborist to evaluate the tree’s condition and determine the appropriate remedy.
The Tree’s Posture
A tree that is beginning to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa is likely not a tree that you want to keep around your yard. However, there are some ways to fix a tree that’s leaning only slightly or if you catch the warning signs early on. For instance, are there dead branches only on one side of the tree? If so, this is likely going to cause the tree to lean to one side.
An arborist will be able to determine whether the tree is salvageable or if tree removal is necessary. It’s important that you call a certified arborist as soon as you notice these warning signs since a leaning tree is also a potentially dangerous one.
Weakened Structural Integrity
While it’s not possible to examine the interior of a tree without sawing into it, there are certain things you can do to determine whether a tree’s structural integrity has been weakened. Instead of chopping into the tree with an axe, firmly tap the back of the axe against the tree to test its hollowness. Listen to whether you hear a hollow sound. If you do, you’ll want to contact a certified arborist to examine the tree.
A hollow trunk can cause the tree to have weakened structural integrity, which can be hazardous. If a third or more of the tree’s interior is hollow, you’ll want to speak with your arborist about tree removal services.
Sub-par Environment or Location
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to tree removal is the location of the tree. For instance, how far away is it from your home? A good rule of thumb is that large trees should be located at a distance of 20 feet or more away from your house. Small trees should be planted at least six feet away from your house. You do not want to plant a tree so close to your home, for instance, as it could then grow to hang over your roof or present some other such encumbrance.
Also, you should be careful to avoid planting trees near pipelines, septic tanks, or overhead wires. You should always take into account what lies beneath and above the spot where you’re planning to grow a tree. In Oregon, you can call 811 before you dig to have pipelines, utilities, and water and sewer lines marked. Taking these things into consideration ahead of time will help you avoid tree removal later on.
It’s important to inspect your trees frequently and to maintain them as necessary. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid the costly expense of tree service and possibly even tree removal.
If you are able to spot any problematic issues early on, there are certain things arborists can do to help restore a tree’s health. Cabling and bracing, for instance, are a couple techniques arborists employ to strengthen a tree’s structural integrity.
At Mr. Tree, we understand the time and effort it takes to grow a tree and maintain its health. That’s why we’re here to help you maximize its lifespan. By contacting an arborist for regular maintenance, you’ll ensure your tree keeps roots in the family for generations to come.