When to Cut Down a Tree: A Guide for Homeowners

When to Cut Down a Tree: A Guide for Homeowners

By: admin on May 17, 2019

The benefits of trees to our homes are endless and extend beyond their beauty. They create a serene and calm environment that's perfect for reducing stress and promoting wellness. They give us privacy from the prying eyes of the passers-by.

Trees make our homes alive.

But when trees are sick or dead, they can cause more harm than good. They can fall and cause serious property damages or even kill people.

To avoid these issues, it is essential to cut down trees which have more negative effects than benefits on your property. In this light, here is a guide on when to cut down a tree in your yard. 

Signs of Illness

Sick trees can cause numerous problems on your property. They can fall and damage buildings, injure people, block roads, and much more. Also, they spread diseases to other healthy trees and wreak havoc in your garden. 

Look for sick trees in your yard and remove them if they can't get treated. Here are symptoms to look for:

  • Excessive leaf drop: When a tree suddenly loose many of its leaves, and it's not summer or spring, it’s probably sick.
  • Leaf discoloration: Leaves that are discolored or shriveled but stay attached on the tree indicate sickness.
  • Weak branches: The branches are falling on their own without the influence of storm. On closer look, you may notice a rot at the base of the branches.
  • Rotting trunk: Check for holes in the trunk. A rotting trunk is often a sign of bacterial or fungal infestation.
  • Rotting roots: The roots can get damaged and rot through cuts from lawn mowers, trampling from heavy vehicles or constant waterlogging.
  • Peeling bark: If your tree isn't the type that shades its bark, then the peeling may be a sign of disease or sickness.

Fungus Growth

The presence of fungi is often a sign that a tree is unhealthy. Most fungi grow on an already damaged trunk; however, some can attack and damage a healthy tree. The fungi can cause diseases such as root rot, foliar, wilt, and canker disease.

A tree infected with fungus often lose vigor and get discolored or wilted leaves.

The presence of mushrooms around the trunk or base of the tree indicates rot in some parts of the tree. A rotting tree risks falling on a property.

Not all fungus is dangerous to your trees; some are actually good for your trees. If the damage from fungi is extensive, you should cut down the tree before it falls.

Pests on Trees

Your trees are habitats for birds, insects, reptiles, and rodents. These animals are often harmless, but some are either dangerous or annoying.

Whereas in most cases you can control the annoying animals, sometimes you have no option but to cut down the trees that attract them. You may cut a tree in your yard if it attracts:

  • Harmful animals like snakes and scorpions
  • Pests like aphid that can cause mass damage to crops
  • Unsightly insect larvae such caterpillar, especially if they come in large numbers.

Trees with Invasive Roots

Trees can have vertical and horizontal roots. The horizontal roots can be destructive if they grow the wrong way and invade other features in your landscape.

The invasive roots can lead to the following problems and costly damages on your property:

  • They damage foundation: The large trees have large roots that stretch several meters and can penetrate the foundation and cause cracks. They can also damage concrete sidewalks, driveways, and walking paths.
  • They break through pipes and sewage lines: The tree roots can grow down to a depth where they accidentally hit sewerage lines and water pipes.
  • They interfere with your landscape: Sometimes the roots grow so randomly that they interfere with your garden theme.
  • They cause trip accidents: You can trip and fall, especially if the roots extend out from the grass verge onto the footpath.

Trees with invasive roots may need cutting, especially if the invasive roots cannot be eliminated without compromising the health of the tree.

Overhanging Branches

The overhanging branches can cause lots of damages if they grow outwards, become too heavy, and collapse under their own weight. They can fall on people or livestock and cause injuries or death.

Overhanging branches can collapse on and damage buildings and exterior features. The falling leaves and decaying branches discolor the roofing materials.

If they fall on powerlines, they'll cause a power outage and the associated losses. They can cause heavy traffics if they fall and block roads. Again, disputes may arise if your tree branches hang over the neighbor’s property and result in damages.

If it isn’t possible to cut down the troublesome overhanging branches, get rid of the entire tree.

Limited Space

Space can be very scarce when you have several landscaping ideas for your yard. You may have plans to construct an addition, plant a garden, set up a shed, or even build landscaping features.

In such cases, you may cut some trees to provide the needed space. Weigh the value of the tree and the landscaping features you want and determine whether it's worthwhile to get rid of the tree.

Wrong Plant Species

When you plant a tree that can’t survive in your yard due to unsuitable climatic conditions, you should remove it before you waste resources on it.

Some trees do well only in hot regions and may not survive in cold places. If you plant a tree in the wrong climate, its growth will stagnate, and it'll look weak and sick. Remove such trees and replace them with species which thrive in your region.

Harsh Weather Damages

Harsh weather, especially during winter, makes trees or branches to fall and cause serious property damages. If the fallen trees obstruct the roads and paths, you’ll have to cut them down to clear the way.

Strong wind and saturated soil, resulting from a heavy storm, can weaken both the tree roots and branches. The trees or branches can fall anytime, and cause unimaginable injuries and damages.

Contact an arborist after severe weather for professional advice. They'll advise you to salvage the tree or cut it down to prevent further damage.

Want to Cut Down a Tree in Your Yard?

It can be difficult to cut down a tree in your yard, especially if you don't have the tools or experience to do so. Avoid DIY tree removal as it can lead to injuries and fatalities.

Contact us today for professional tree removal and tree care services.