10 Ways You Can Tell If A Tree Should Be Removed

Doug Bedford November 25, 2016

10 Ways You Can Tell If A Tree Should Be Removed

When you have a tree on your property develop problems, it can often be difficult to decide when to remove the tree, or if you even should. Dying trees that are not a danger can usually be allowed to die in place without human intervention. When asking yourself whether or not to remove a tree, several pros and cons should be weighed.

broken tree

Red’s Tree Service has compiled a list of questions for you to ask when deciding to keep or remove a tree:

  1. Is the species desirable? This may seem like a strange thing to consider! But there are certain characteristics that make some trees “undesirable”, such as
    • weak wood that’s prone to frequent breaking
    • regularly dropping large quantities of debris
    • shallow roots that damage lawns and pavement
    • infested with diseases or insects specific to the tree species
    • being an invasive species by reseeding in the landscape

    Examples of undesirable trees include black locust, box elder, mulberry, poplars, Bradford pear, Norway maple, mimosaempress tree, and willows.

  2. Is the tree healthy? If 50% or more of the tree is damaged, it probably should be removed. A tree that’s declining may survive for many years, but it will always have limited or abnormal growth and appearance.
  3. Is the trunk damaged? Vertical cracks, seams, dead branch stubs, and larger, older wounds suggest internal decay. Severe damage to the main trunk often warrants removal of the tree. If the damaged area is less than 25% percent of the trunk, the injury may not be permanent and could gradually heal over.
  4. Is the tree hollow? The life support tissue of a tree, the xylem and phloem, are on the outer edges of the trunk. Because of this, many trees can live for years with a hollow trunk. The issue here is possible compromised trunk strength, making the tree dangerous. If one-third of the interior of the tree or more is hollow or rotten, it should probably be removed.
  5. Are there any large dead branches? Large trees that have had their tops broken or have large damaged limbs are a danger to people and property. If less than 25% of branches are damaged, the tree can probably survive. However, any crossed or rubbing branches should be removed. Using a professional tree service such as Red’s Tree Service can help stabilize brances and remove any compromising ones.
  6. Are all the dead branches on one side of tree? If so, the tree will be lopsided and possibly hazardous. Dead branches that are all on one side of a tree can also be a symptom of root/trunk damage on the affected side. These trees would benefit from an evaluation by a professional tree service like Red’s.
  7. Are there sprouts coming from the base of the tree or small branches coming from the trunk?These sprouts are a response to severe stress, indicating there is something wrong with the tree. This is very typical of trees that have endured things like a recent new home construction injury or over-exposure to the sun. Have such trees evaluated by professional service such as Red’s Tree Service.
  8. Is there trunk rot or a large fungus growing near the base of the tree? Not all mushrooms growing under trees are associated with root diseases. However, fungi growing on the tree can be an indication of internal rot.
  9. Is the tree leaning? Leaning trees can be a hazard. A sudden lean indicates breakage or weakening of roots and the tree should probably be removed immediately. A tree leaning more than 15% from vertical should probably also be removed, since its chances of falling are greater.
  10. Is the tree under power lines? Trees under power lines should mature at heights less than 25’. A tree that is growing into power lines will need to be thinned out. During wet weather, electricity can arc as much as ten feet to wet tree foliage and cause power failure or property damage. Removal of trees limbs anywhere near power lines is never something you should attempt yourself. Always hire a professional service like Red’s Tree Service for these dangerous and potentially deadly jobs.

Need an evaluation?

If you have any questions about the health or safety of any tree on your propertyget in touch with ustoday. Red’s Tree Service has an experienced and professional team serving Memphis, including second generation certified arborist Kevin Smith. We offer a variety of tree services all the way from assessment to removal, if needed. With many years experience in multiple aspects of the tree service business, we’re confident in our ability to meet the need of every customer we serve, including you!