How Do I Know When to Remove a Tree?

When that large tree hanging over your patio doesn’t look so good, what should you do? To decide whether to remove a tree or not, the pros and cons need to be weighed, and a few questions need to be asked.

How healthy is the tree?

If half of the tree is damaged, it should be removed. A tree that is damaged and unhealthy can continue to survive for many years, but will always have limited or abnormal growth.

Is there trunk damage?

Severe damage to a tree usually warrants removal of the tree. Vertical cracks, seams, large older wounds, and dead branch stubs all suggest internal decay. If the damage is on more than 25% of the tree, then it is most likely not going to heal and should be removed.

Is the tree hollow?

Trees can live for years with a hollow trunk, but the issue is the lack of strength the tree may have. A hollow trunk can make the tree very dangerous. If ⅓ of the interior of the tree is hollow or rotten, it should be removed in order to avoid potential injury.

Are there large, dead branches?

Trees with large, damaged limbs are a danger to people and property. They can fall during severe winds and leave you with expensive roof or siding repair. If more than 25% of branches are damaged, the tree will probably not survive and should be removed. Crossed or rubbing branches should also be removed. If all of the dead branches are on one side of the tree, it can add weight to that side, causing the tree to be lopsided and potentially hazardous. Dead branches that are all on one side of a tree can be a symptom of root or trunk damage.

Is the tree leaning?

Leaning trees are more hazardous than trees growing vertically because a sudden lean indicates breakage or weakening of roots. These trees can fall at any moment, especially during windy storms. A tree leaning more than 15% should be removed.

Is the tree under power lines?

Trees under power lines should mature at heights less than 25 ft. Trees growing into power lines should be thinned out, and any limbs near the line need to be removed. During wet weather, electricity can arc as much as ten feet, causing power failure and/or property damage. Always hire a professional for dealing with trees near power lines.

For tree removal services, call Elliott Tree at 781-447-0045.

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