Are you undecided on whether or not to remove a tree in your landscape? It can be hard to tell whether an ailing tree is under temporary stress and will recover, or if it has become damaged to a point where removal is the best option. The following guide can help you make the final decision.
More than half the tree is dead or dying
If more than half of the canopy branches are dead with no living leaves, then the tree likely won't make it through more than one or two more seasons before it will die naturally. In this case, the best course of action is to remove it now. Waiting will turn the tree into a hazard, since a dying tree is more likely to drop branches unexpectedly.
You live in a fire danger area
For those living in areas subject to forest fire or wildfire risks, the decision can be much easier. Any tree growing too closely to your home, particularly if it has dead or dying branches, poses a major fire risk. It should be removed as soon as possible to help ensure the safety of your home.
There is increased fungal activity
Unfortunately, a tree can appear healthy while it is slowly dying from the inside out. Fungal activity is the clearest sign that internal rot is occurring. If you notice mushrooms sprouting from the roots or ringing the trunk, or if you see actual fungi growing on the trunk, then the heart of the tree is likely suffering rot problems. In this case, you need to have it professionally assessed. Some trees, like cedars, can survive many decades with internal rot, while others are in more immediate danger of falling. A professional can help determine whether it is time to remove your tree.
Severe insect problems are affecting the tree
Insect activity on its own is rarely enough to bring down an otherwise healthy tree. It is other problems caused by the insects that can be an issue. For example, animals feeding on the insects may damage the tree, such as by pulling off bark to find insects. Severe bark loss kills trees. Woodpeckers can also become an issue if they begin drilling holes in a tree to look for insect meals. Further, insects can also be a vector for bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases. Having the tree assessed professionally will help you to determine whether to treat the pests or remove the tree.
Contact a tree service like Hagstrom & Sons Tree Service for more help and to answer any specific questions you have about the removal of your tree.