6 Signs It Might Be Time to Remove Your Tree

6 Signs It Might Be Time to Remove Your Tree

Trees.  They're shields of protection along the edges of your property. They're Mother Nature's masterpieces in your own backyard. They're beautiful, comforting and unconditional-loving. They're family.

So, removing a tree from your landscape--your life--could be a difficult experience to encounter.Just imagine looking out of your kitchen window, expecting to see the great, big oak tree that once occupied the far left corner of your lot. Rather than watching its branches sway in the early morning breeze, you'd be observing an open, empty sapce hanging over freshly dug dirt where the tree's roots once grew.

Trees' numerous benefits occur physically, mentally and emotionally. And it's the everyday happiness we feel in their presence that often matters most.

But when a tree poses risks to the people and objects in its shade below, sometimes it's safer to leave its fate in the hands of a professionally trained arborist.

signs of tree damage
When inspecting your tree to determine whether it should be removed, start at the roots.

In our last post, we explained the definition of critical risk and what you can do to decrease or eliminate its effect on your trees. Now that you understand the definition of critical risk, let's talk about what you can do. Here we'll share some examples of structural or physical damage to check for during your quick safety check on your trees.

WHEN IT'S TIME TO REMOVE A TREE. Start at the roots. Determine what might be occurring at the base before working your way up the tree during an inspection. Davey's Manager of Education and Training and Board Certified Master Arborist R.J. Laverne suggests you check for the six signs of tree damage below to help you determine whether it might be time to remove your tree:

  1. Heaving soil at the base of the trunk and beneath the canopy
  2. Decay-producing fungi, such as mushrooms, growing at the base of the trunk
  3. Chipped or peeling bark and cracks in the trunk
  4. Cavities in the trunk or large scaffold branches
  5. Dead or hanging branches in the upper crown
  6. Fine twigs without living buds near the ends of branches

Remember, trees are living organisms, and eventually they'll decline. But as they grow and mature, they provide us with an increasing number of benefits. As Laverne says, "Trees are beautiful to look at, and they give us shade in the summertime. How could you not fall in love with them?"

tree inspection
Consult a professionally trained arborist to help inspect your trees for damage and determine the best solutions for the benefit of your landscape.

To keep your landscape safe, pay particular attention to trees posing critical risks and consult a professionally trained arborist to determine whether removal and/or pest and disease treatments are necessary. A qualified arborist would not only best communicate the likelihood of failure for your injured tree but also the full range of benefits your living tree would continue to provide if not removed.

"As arborists, it's easy to err on the side of caution and pull the trigger on large, mature trees before we really have to," Laverne says. "But a qualified arborist understands the importance of illustrating ways to maximize tree benefits while reducing risk."

Contact your local Davey office for a free consultation. If you're looking for other tips for your trees, check out more tree service advice, how-to videos and more on the Davey spring checklist!

  • The Tree Doctor November 6, 2017 >Hi Sandra! We would be happy to come out for a consultation on your property! Thanks for contacting us. I’ve passed along your request to your local office, so they should be reaching out soon to set up a free consultation. Or if you’d prefer, you can contact them at 408.755.9824 or davey.com/local-offices/south-bay-tree-service/. Either way, talk more soon, Sandra.
  • SANDRA & ROY LANOIE November 6, 2017 >HELLO, WOULD LIKE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A QUOTE FOR TREE REMOVAL. WE HAVE A VERY LARGE PINE IN THE FRONT YARD AND CONCERNED ABOUT WINTER STORMS AND THE PERIL OF IT COMING DOWN ON OUR HOUSE OR NEIGHBORS. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.
  • The Tree Doctor October 31, 2017 >Hi Sandra. We would be happy to come evaluate your catalpa tree. Thanks for contacting us. I’ve passed along your request to your local office, so they should be reaching out soon to set up an appointment. Or if you’d prefer, you can contact them at 866.852.2533 or daveytree.ca/local-offices/ottawa-tree-service/. Either way, talk more soon, Sandra.
  • Sandra Ballantyne October 30, 2017 >I would like to have a large catalpa in our back yard assessed for whether it needs to be taken down. Davey previously removed two large spruce trees for us, for a home renovation, providing excellent service (2012, under the name of our contractor Bryan Dumouchel). Thank you!
  • Derek Dewitt October 2, 2017 >There is a tree in my front yard that I think is dead but I am not sure how to tell. I like that you mention how a qualified arborist can tell you the advantages and disadvantages of keeping or removing the tree. We might have to have someone come look at it and give us their professional advice in this case. Thanks for sharing!
  • The Tree Doctor August 24, 2017 >Hi there, Linda. Oh no! Sorry to hear about your oak trees. Unfortunately, Davey Tree doesn't provide residential tree service in your neck of the woods! In the meantime, you may find this article helpful, blog.davey.com/2017/03/what-to-do-if-a-storm-damaged-my-tree/. Hope this helps! Thanks for reaching out, Linda.
  • linda wendt August 24, 2017 >We just had two huge oak limbs fall on and near our carport and house. I need your expertise on whether to remove the tree or not. there is another branch that most likely come down because it was damaged from the other branches that came down.
  • diction roos August 20, 2017 >useful article and thanks for sharing this
  • Jane Ambrose July 12, 2017 >My yard has quite a few trees in it, and I'm starting to wonder if some of them may need to be cut down soon. There is a lot of fungi growing around the bottoms which is mentioned in the article as being a sign they need to go. While I'm sad they'll need to be cut down, I'm glad this article reminded me that they're living organisms just like us that get sick sometimes too! Thank you.
  • The Tree Doctor June 27, 2017 >Hi, Gieri! Sorry to hear about your aspen trees! We would be happy to help you with removing them. Thanks for contacting us. I’ve passed along your request to your local office, so they should be reaching out soon to set up an appointment. Or if you’d prefer, you can contact them at 303.515.7492 or davey.com/local-offices/east-denver-tree-service/. Either way, talk more soon, Gieri.
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