Well-placed, healthy trees can provide much-needed shade, encourage beneficial wildlife, and contribute a significant aesthetic advantage to any residential landscape. Unfortunately, all trees need to be removed eventually. Read on to find out about the signs it’s time to call a tree service to take down a problematic specimen.
Abnormal Growth Pattern
Homeowners who have spent some time in their houses know what their trees should look like. Healthy trees with normal growth patterns grow each year, put out leaves on all, or at least most, of their branches, and look, well, healthy. When trees lose their terminal branches or start to experience crown dieback, those are sure signs that the specimens are in trouble. Removing them is usually the best solution.
A tree’s trunk supports its weight and sends water and nutrients up to its crown from its roots. It needs to be solid and strong. If the trunk is starting to split or crack, it will cause damage to the tree’s vascular system and it won’t be able to transport nutrients properly anymore. Whether the damage came from disease, insects, or a serious storm, homeowners are usually best off calling a professional arborist to have the specimen removed before it creates a safety hazard.
Shedding bark is part of what helps to keep mature trees healthy. However, the old bark should be replaced immediately by a new, healthy layer beneath it. If a tree has peeling bark that is not being replaced, there’s something wrong. Look for bare patches of wood beneath the peeling bark, and take action immediately. In some cases, these stressed trees can be saved. Most of the time, though, it’s best to take them out and replace them with new, healthier specimens.
Wind, rain, and other inclement weather can all take their toll on even otherwise healthy trees. After each storm, homeowners should head out to their yards to check on their plants. If any of the trees are missing large branches, have started to lean, or have become uprooted, it’s time to remove them before the next big storm. If the roots or major branches have been compromised, that tree is going to come down one way or another. Putting off tree removal will endanger the property and its residents.
Sometimes, even healthy trees need to be removed. Homeowners planning to install home additions, outbuildings, or hardscaping features near trees should always call an arborist to remove them first. It may be tempting to try to leave nearby trees in place, but it’s never a good idea. Construction projects can compact soil, damage tree roots, and affect water tables. All of those factors will cause the tree to suffer, and it will be much more difficult to take out a dead tree next to a new structure than it is to remove a live tree before construction begins.
The Bottom Line
Whether a tree is sick, damaged, or just in the way, homeowners should never attempt to take it down themselves. Tree work is very dangerous. The best thing to do is to keep an eye out for signs of trouble and call an arborist as soon as they arise to discuss options for either saving or removing the specimen.