How do I know if a tree needs to be removed?
Removing a tree should always be a last resort. Trees provide many benefits to your property and the environment. However, there are some instances where tree removal may be necessary. Here are some signs that a tree may need to be removed:
The tree is dead or dying
- Dead branches
- No leaves or only a few leaves
- Peeling bark
- Rotting wood
- Cracks or splits in the trunk
- Presence of fungi or insects that attack dead trees
The tree is diseased
- Abnormal growths or swellings on the bark
- Discolored or spotted leaves
- Premature fall color or leaf drop
- Dieback in the crown
- Oozing sap
Consult an arborist to identify any disease and determine if treatment can save the tree. If not, removal may be required.
The tree is unstable or structurally unsound
- Leaning heavily to one side
- Large cracks or splits in the trunk
- Damaged or lopsided crown
- Exposed roots
- Previous failure of branches
A certified arborist can assess the risk of failure. Bracing or cabling may stabilize some trees, while others may need removal if they pose a safety hazard.
The tree interferes with utilities
- Touching or growing into power lines
- Causing sidewalk damage from invasive roots
- Blocking visibility for traffic
- Interfering with drainage or sewer pipes
Contact your local utility company or municipality if a tree is compromising infrastructure. They may handle removal for you.
The tree obstructs your home or property
- Blocking sunlight to your home
- Growing into the foundation or roof
- Dropping debris like fruit or needles
- Unwanted shade preventing landscaping growth
Consider pruning and trimming first to open the canopy. However, if obstruction is significant, removal may be the best option. Consult an ISA certified arborist to assess your tree’s health and structure before deciding on removal. They can provide professional recommendations while considering the tree’s benefits. With proper care, many trees can thrive for years before removal is necessary.