Trees are beautiful, provide shade and add usual interest to any landscape. They take many years to grow, for their roots to spread and for them to become strong and anchored. But, sometimes we may notice one problem or another with a tree. If a tree develops a problem, disease or begins to die it can be difficult to determine what to do with it. If it is in danger of falling and is near where structures are or where people walk it may be a growing safety concern. Often, homeowners want to keep a tree on their property as long as possible because it is difficult to remove a tree, difficult to plant a new tree and get it thriving and disappointing to see something so beautiful go. Sometimes, even if a tree is experiencing problems it may be perfectly fine to leave it where it is but other times it is best to remove it.
If a tree is posing a safety risk to people or structures because it looks as though it may be unstable it is probably time to remove the tree. But, the tree is experiencing a less obvious problem than that you are probably wondering how to tell when it is time to remove the tree. Has the tree begun to lean so much that branches are touching the structure of your home or scraping the siding. If so, the tree will continue to damage your home over time, even if it does not fall down, and should be removed. In addition to looking at leaning trees you should also look at the roots of a tree. The roots say a lot about the health of a tree and can indicate whether or not it may need to be removed. If the roots are obviously decaying or damaged it is a sign that critical structural support of the tree has been compromised and could thus fall at any time, even if it is not yet leaning. Next, inspect the trunk of the tree. Do you see any obvious cracks or cavities? Can you see that the trunk is decaying? If so, it means another important part of the tree structure has been compromised and may need to be removed. Lastly, do you see any dead branches? This can be difficult to determine because most individuals cannot get up high enough safely to see any hidden dead branches in tall trees. If more than 50% of the tree it is most likely time to replace the tree and start fresh. If this sounds like your tree it is time to call a landscape specialist or arborist who can help you determine with finality whether or not it is time to remove a tree. And, if it is time, a professional will be able to help you safely and properly remove the tree as well as offer suggestions for what would be an ideal new tree to plant.