Tree Care: Should You Remove It Or Keep It?

Posted on: 29 May 2019


When assessing the health of the trees in your yard, you may be wondering how to tell when it is time to take down a tree rather than trying to save it. The following are a few guidelines you can use to help you with this assessment:

#1: Determine if there are disease issues

Diseases, whether caused by pathogens or pest damage, can be fatal for a tree. If a tree is suffering severe dieback in the crown or if insects have filled the trunk with holes, it may be time to consider tree removal. Other signs of severe disease issues are fungal growths on the tree or from the base of the tree. If you see mushrooms sprouting, that means there is extensive fungal growth inside the trunk that you can't see. This can indicate rot. When mushrooms sprout near the base, root rot may an issue that can cause a tree to fall over. Mushrooms along the trunk can indicate heart rot, which kills trees more slowly, so it isn't quite as big of a concern as root rot.

#2: Check for structural problems

Major structural issues can sometimes be repaired by a tree service. For example, a trunk that is beginning to split can sometimes be splinted. Major damage in the canopy can sometimes be repaired with extensive pruning. On the other hand, some damage is too severe to repair. A trunk that splits extensively often means a tree needs to be removed, as does too much canopy damage. Bark damage can also be a major structural problem. If the damage completely surrounds the trunk, even if it is just a thin line, the tree will soon decline and die. In these cases, removal is recommended.

#3: Assess the risks to nearby structures

Make sure that the tree poses no risk to your home or other structures on your property. Trees that are near power lines or that scrape against roofs and walls need to be severely trimmed or removed for safety reasons. You should also consider removing trees if the roots are encroaching on sidewalks, driveways, or building foundations. Trees that tend to drop a lot of branches, particularly if they overhang buildings or areas where people pass below, may also need to be removed.

Unfortunately, not every tree can be saved. If you suspect issues, contact a professional tree service. They can determine if anything can be done or if you should have the tree removed for both the safety of your home and your property.