When is it time to remove a tree?

May 27, 2010

Trees come in two varieties: assets, providing many benefits, and liabilities, becoming safety risks. All trees are living organisms and as long as they stay structurally sound and grow vigorously, they can remain as assets to a property.

RJ Laverne, Davey Tree Service expert and ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, highlights the warning signs of tree decline and when to consider tree removal.

When trees become a hazard, they can pose safety concerns which impact your property, such as the tree falling on your home or potentially injuring someone walking near or under the tree.

When does a tree become a liability? There are signs and symptoms that tell us if a tree is healthy or has structural problems and in need of removal.

1. Visually inspect the tree’s root zone for damage and decay. Look for evidence of previous tree root damage, decay-producing fungi disguising themselves as mushrooms and loose bark or cracks in the root collar.

2. Inspect the tree trunk and note obvious decay and swelling. One of the tools your professional arborist may use during a tree risk assessment is a resistograph, allowing them to look inside the tree to measure the location and degree of decay.

3. Pay close attention to the tree crown. Dead or hanging branches, limbs that lack bark and tree limbs that have no living buds are signs that the tree is in a state of decline. 

Determining whether your tree is a liability in need of removal can be challenging. If you have any suspicion that your tree is starting to decline, contact your local professionally trained arborist for a thorough tree risk assessment.  
For more information on tree safety or seasonal tree care tips to encourage healthy growth, visit http://www.davey.com

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