Trees are like family.

6 Signs It Might Be Time to Remove Your Tree

March 17, 2014
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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!

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