Should Your Tree Stay or Go?

Should Your Tree Stay or GoAt A Touch of Class Tree Service, we know how to answer the question, should your tree stay or go? If you are pondering this issue and are unsure of what your options are, we will guide you on all the pros and cons of whether your tree should stay or be cut down. Don’t take this matter into your own hands, when our professionals are here to serve all your landscaping needs.

Certified arborists, such as ours, are your best bet to help give a clear and unbiased picture of the situation. We will assess the overall condition and health of the tree in question so you can make an educated decision on tree removal. Many times, arborists can spot the sources of future problems before it’s too late, and advice for avoiding and correcting problems.

Here are some questions to ask when deciding should your tree stay or go:

  1. Is the species desirable?

There are many species of trees that harbor various problems such as weak wood prone to frequent breakage from wind and ice, always dropping large quantities of debris, shallow roots that damage lawns and pavement, infestations with diseases or insects specific to the tree species, and invasive species due to prolific reseeding in the landscape.

  1. Is it healthy?

If 50% of the tree is damaged or infested with a pest, you should probably eliminate it. A tree in decline can survive for many years, but will always have limited or abnormal growth and appearance, and can cause unforeseen damage if a storm hits and knocks it over.

  1. How healthy is the trunk?

If you notice vertical cracks, seams, dead branch stubs, and large, older wounds, this may suggest internal decay. Severe damage to the main trunk often requires removal of the tree. If the degraded area is less than 25% of the circumference of the trunk, the tree’s wound could gradually heal over, and no lasting injury will remain; but again, a professional opinion is necessary for the right conclusion.

  1. Is it hollow?

The life-support tissue, the xylem, and phloem, of a tree, are on the outer edges of the trunk, which means many trees will live for years with a hollow trunk. However, there could be possible compromised trunk strength which could make the tree dangerous. The rule of thumb in decision-making on this issue is, if 1/3 of the interior is hollowed out or rotten, remove the tree.

  1. Are there large dead branches?

This problem is most definitely a danger to people and property. If less than 25% of branches are damaged, the tree will probably survive. Remove crossed or rubbing branches and narrow branch angles, especially if the main trunk is particularly prone to splitting. Get the help of a certified arborist. If a narrow crotch is too extensive to remove, the two co-dominant leaders could be cabled, to relieve the strain and avoid breakage.

  1. Are all the dead branches only on one side?

A lopsided tree has many potential hazards. Dead branches only on one side of a tree can be a symptom of root or trunk damage on that side.

  1. Are there sprouts or shoots coming from the trunk?

These sprouts are a response to severe stresses inflicted on the tree that indicates that there is something wrong. This is typical of trees enduring new home construction injuries, over-exposure to the sun, or soil compaction.

  1. Is there trunk rot?

Fungi appearing on the outside of a tree are an indication of internal rot, and should be evaluated by an arborist.

  1. Has there been excavating near the tree?

If so, it is necessary to check for root damage. If half of the roots are damaged, the tree needs removal.

  1. Does the tree lean?

A sudden lean indicates breakage and weakening of roots and that means the tree should probably be removed immediately. More than 15% from vertical points to removal of a dangerous tree.

  1. Are there power lines above the tree?

A tree growing up near power lines will need tree trimming and thinning. During wet weather conditions, electricity can arc as much as 10 feet over to the wet tree foliage, grounding out and causing a power failure or property damage. Never attempt removing tree limbs that are near power lines, for obvious safety reasons.

  1. What is the tree’s history?

Unsavory previous pruning jobs such as tree topping practices can cause problems later. A change in the soil level over the root system is a cause of a gradual decline of trees also. If 3″ or more of soil is piled over the root system, there is a high likelihood it will die. If caught early and before stress symptoms develop, the tree can be saved.

  1. How is the tree’s environment?

Trees that are growing on rock ledges or near bodies of water, frequently have shallow root systems. Trees suddenly exposed to sunlight are severely stressed by the sudden change in exposure. There are also issues with soil compaction, grade changes, and the sudden exposure to full sun.

  1. Is there enough space?

When it comes to your home, it is best to avoid trees hanging over the roof. Larger trees should be at least 20 feet away from your house. Are there other nearby trees, whose growth will be enhanced by the tree’s removal? Is the location of the tree such that, it interferes with sight lines in traffic flow and stop lights? If it poses a risk, consider dangerous tree removal.

So many things to consider for our amazing and beautiful trees that most of the time bring us shade, beauty, and add to our landscaping view and investment. Be sure to do the right thing when it comes time to question a damaged or severely diseased tree that may need to come down.

A good rule of thumb to consider is, if you take care of your trees, they will take care of you! Protecting your family and your investments should be a priority over any unhealthy or damaged trees. So, should your tree stay or go? Call A Touch of Class Tree Service today, and get an honest answer on what to do.

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