Sad But True: Knowing When Tree Removal Is the Best Option
April 25, 2020
Removing a tree is often a difficult decision to make. There are many factors that come into it, from the cost of tree work to emotional ties.
In natural areas, dying trees aren’t always a problem. If they don’t pose a danger to people and property, they can die without human intervention. Dead trees are also a good place for woodpeckers and other wildlife to rest or find food.
By comparison, dangerous trees with structural defects need immediate attention. In these cases, tree removal is likely to be the best and most effective option. That said, many trees — even damaged ones — can still survive with some care.
If you’re not a professional arborist, it can be hard to tell when removing a tree
is the best choice. Here are some key factors that will help you reach a decision.
Take a look at your tree’s crown — that is, branches and leaves at the top part of the tree. If 50% or more of the crown has suffered damage, remove the tree.
If the damage is less severe, the tree may continue to survive for years. This goes for trees that were victims of herbicide damage as well. Though their leaves are likely to be misshapen, they can often recover if given time.
Severe trunk damage often warrants tree removal. Seams, vertical cracks, and older wounds are all indicators of internal decay. If the damaged area covers less than 25% of the trunk’s circumference, the wound may heal over time.
Many trees can also live with a hollow trunk due to their xylem and phloem tissue
. That said, compromised trunk strength may still make the tree dangerous. If one-third of the tree’s interior is rotten or hollow, you should remove it.
Rot and Sprouts
Do you see any sprouts at the base of your tree? If you, you may want to contact a professional to check it out.
Most of the time, these sprouts are the tree’s response to severe stress. This is typical for trees that endure soil compaction or home construction injuries. An epicormic shoot growing from the trunk is another sign that something’s wrong.
You should also look for trunk rot or fungi growing near the base of the tree. If you see any fungi growing on the tree itself, you may be dealing with internal tree rot. Some mushrooms growing under trees can also cause them harm.
Space for Growth
In a forest, trees can grow close together. This is why planting shade trees in a grove is fine, as they’ll become one large mass.
When planting a tree
in your backyard, though, you don’t want it hanging over your roof. Large trees in particular need at least 20 feet of space from the house. Smaller trees such as dogwood will be fine as close as 6 feet from your house.
Of course, a tree may not always grow vertically. A sudden lean can be a solid indicator of breakage or weakening of the roots. If your tree leans over 15% from its vertical, it’s time to contact a tree removal company.
Some trees may also grow into a power line, which is a potential hazard. In wet weather, electricity can go through foliage and ground out, causing property damage. The best solution is to have an arborist thin a tree as necessary.
When it comes to deciding whether to remove a tree, the environment can be a key consideration.
For example, some trees end up being in the way of construction. Even if the tree stays standing, the removal of nearby trees can still create issues. Sudden exposure to sunlight can lead to stress and subsequent damage.
In certain cases, trees spared from removal during construction still die 3 to 5 years later. Other than changes in exposure, they can succumb to grade changes or soil compaction.
A large tree that’s had its top broken can be a real danger. If over 25% of your tree’s branches have suffered damage, you may have to remove it.
In other cases, the tree should survive. That said, you should remove any crossed or rubbing branches to avoid problems in the future. The branch angles between the trunk and the base are in particular need of correcting.
For best results, you should have this procedure done when the tree is young. Keep in mind that the branch angle may be too large to remove. In this situation, the best way to relieve the strain is to cable the two co-dominant stems
You may also discover that all dead branches happen to be on one side of the tree. This is a common indicator of trunk or root damage on the affected side. These trees can end up lopsided and hazardous, and you should have them checked out.
Tree removal is far from a zero-sum game. In simple terms, certain tree species are far more likely to meet their end sooner than others.
There are several characteristics that make some trees “undesirable.” These include shallow roots, being prone to breakage, or dropping a lot of debris. Also, some tree species are often infested with specific insects of diseases.
Some species — such as the Siberian elm
— have invasive traits. This allows them to spread aggressively through prolific reseeding. Other undesirable tree species include willows, black locust, poplars, mimosa, and mulberry.
More on Tree Removal
As you can see, removing a tree isn’t an easy decision to make. Other than the above factors, there are a few other things you should consider.
For instance, does your tree have sentimental or historic value? If it does, you can justify more expenses to salvage it. Of course, this is only true up to a point — if it starts losing large branches, tree removal is likely the only option.
Sometimes, removing a tree may enhance the growth of nearby trees. Other times, the tree’s location may interfere with traffic flow. The tree’s history can also play a key part, as some pruning jobs can cause problems down the line.
Looking into hiring a tree removal service at an affordable price? If so, our team of experienced professionals has got you covered! Contact us here
-we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.