It's Time to Cut Down That Tree
Do you have a tree on your property that is causing you concern? You may be wondering whether it's time for that old oak tree or evergreen to go, but the last thing you want to do is cut down a tree that could be saved.
After all, trees help keep the environment clean and add beauty to any space.
How do you know that it's the right time to cut down trees? Keep reading to learn 5 key signs that it's time.
1. Cut Down Trees That Pose a Threat to Your Home
One of the most obvious reasons to cut down a tree is that the tree poses danger to your home, or to anyone who will pass beneath the tree. Does your tree lean, or has it sustained damage from storms? Is it close to a building?
If your tree has been exposed to storms with lots of rain and wind gusts over the years, there's a good chance that it's a weaker version of itself. With each torrential downpour or blizzard, your tree takes a beating. And while it might still look stately on the outside, it could be more fragile than you think.
The next time a storm rolls into town, your tree might shed limbs that could cause property damage or interfere with powerlines — or injure someone passing by. Worse yet, the entire tree could fall.
Even without adverse weather conditions, your tree can have structural issues that make it a good candidate for removal. Trees that lean too much can become top-heavy and eventually fall. This is particularly concerning if your tree sits close to your property or your neighbor's.
Take stock of the trees on your property and stay aware of any structural problems. And when in doubt, it's best to call the professionals if you have any concerns. They'll be able to tell you if your tree can be salvaged, or if it needs to be removed.
2. Evidence of Stress Is an Indicator
Knowing when to cut down trees can be a challenge, but there are indications that can help you make an informed decision. One of the biggest warnings that something is wrong with your tree is any sign of stress.
When we think of stress as it relates to humans, we think of unfavorable changes in personality or appearance. The same holds true for trees.
Sometimes the signs are a little more subtle, but if you look closely you'll see them. When a tree starts to look a little rough around the edges, weathered, or discolored, there's a pretty good chance that something is wrong.
If you notice tree branches suddenly sprouting from the base of your tree, that is an unexpected change that you should take note of. It can mean that your tree is sick. Also be on the lookout for spotted leaves, shriveled leaves that cling to the branches in the winter, and peeling bark.
Peeling bark can be an indication that your tree is dying or very sick, especially if has been happening for a while. It can also suggest an Emerald ash borer invasion or simply thin bark. Since peeling bark can suggest anything from a severe problem to a minor physical flaw, it's smart to ask the experts to look at your tree.
Ultimately, preventative care is the best route to go with your trees in order to avoid serious issues. Water your trees, mulch them, and only plant trees with a track record of success in your region. Trees that are not native to your area could be more prone to problems down the road, even if they look nice in the beginning.
3. Poor Health May Be a Reason To Take Action
It's important that you stay vigilant about the health of your trees. You can look for several tell-tale signs that something might be wrong.
Are you noticing lots of leaves falling from the tree at unusual times of the year? We all expect the autumn season to bring falling leaves, but that looks out of place in summer or winter. You may have a sick tree on your hands in the leaves start to drop in early May.
Another physical issue to look for is any sign of rot. Are there big cavities in the trunk of your tree, or do the roots look like they are mangled and rough?
These can be indications of rot, and rot can suggest that your tree needs some treatment. Rot tends to suggest problems within the core of your tree, so it might not be as sturdy as you think it is.
Tree cankers are a big problem to watch for in your trees. These barren patches on trees look more like wounds or blisters, and they can leave your tree susceptible to bigger problems down the road.
Don't let these go unnoticed since they can weaken your tree and leave it prone to developing damaging fungi — more on that later. A healthy tree that develops tree cankers can be salvaged, but a tree that already is stressed may have been weakened too much already to survive a new blow.
Another downside of having a diseased tree is that it can spread the problems to neighboring trees. The last thing you want is for a healthy tree nearby to pay the price because its neighbor is sick. And the reality is that sometimes the only way to fix this problem is by cutting down the problem tree.
4. Fungus Can Be a Bad Sign
The presence of fungi can suggest that your tree is not in the best shape, too. If you notice clusters of fungi around the bottom of your tree, there's a pretty good chance that you also have tree rot — and the problems don't end there.
Seeing fungi around the base of your tree doesn't always mean you need to chop the tree down, but it does mean you need some expert opinions weighing in. Sometimes fungi can just be an indicator that the tree is growing more slowly than normal — and that's okay.
While you're examining the base of the tree, assess the state of the roots, too. If you can see them easily or they sit above the surface, you could have more evidence that something is amiss. Shallow roots are dangerous because they mean that your tree is not anchored to the ground — and it could fall more easily.
And if you do have to say good-bye to an older tree on your property, know that you can also add a new one that can thrive in its place. While it's always difficult losing a majestic tree, it can be a rewarding experience to introduce a new native species to your property.
5. The Wrong Animals Are Inhabiting Your Tree
Trees often serve as a comfortable habitat for lots of different animals, and generally speaking, this is a good thing. You've probably seen plenty of squirrels, chipmunks, or birds interacting with the statuesque trees in your neighborhood. But if you start noticing different animals taking up residence, you may need to do some investigating.
If your tree is attracting pests, including certain destructive bugs, you may want to consider removing it from your property. Leaving a problem like this unattended increases the risk that your tree may lose its structural integrity and fall.
Certain beetles or moths can infest your tree and contribute to its demise if left untreated. While you might be able to see larvae on the exterior of the tree as a clue, that's not always the case, and the animals may be damaging your tree from the inside out.
Seeing a mass invasion of insects not only suggests that your tree is on the decline, but it also looks bad. If you use your backyard actively for cookouts or games and see caterpillars or borers covering the limbs, you might want to take down the tree.
A quality arborist from a tree cutting service will be able to assess your tree and help you determine the best course of action. Make sure that you track any significant changes and let your arborist know what you've noticed and for how long.
Call the Experts
While saying goodbye to a stately old tree is never fun, sometimes it is in the best interest of everything around the tree — including your home. It's best to take swift action and cut down trees to prevent future problems and expenses. In the long run, you'll be happier, and you can always plant new trees.
When you're ready to get the job done right, contact us and we can help you handle your tree issues.