10 Ways to Know it’s Time to Cut Down a Tree

Removing a well-developed tree is never easy. Besides getting shade or fruit, you also build an emotional connection with it. If a dying tree is in the wilderness, you do not need to remove it. In fact, it can benefit species who will find home and food in it.

However, removing old trees in residential areas might become necessary to keep everyone safe. Some types of plants, such as the ash tree, become brittle, and the chances of limb breakage are very high.

Read more about 10 important signs that tell you it is time to cut down a tree. 

1- Considerable Trunk Damage

There are multiple signs of a damaged trunk, such as big cracks, seams, dead branch stubs, etc. Excessive damage of that kind means it is time to remove that tree. On the other hand, if the damage is below 50%, the trunk will probably heal.

If you knock on a tree and it sounds hollow, or its bark falls off regularly, the tree is dying. Although a hollow trunk is problematic, the xylem and phloem tissues can support it, and it can survive for many years. However, a weakened trunk can collapse anytime.

2- Large Dead Branches

Larger trees can shed huge branches when damaged, harming garden visitors and garden beds. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them in check. Less than 25% of damaged components means the tree will survive, and you shouldn’t remove it.

However, it is a dangerous sign if a tree sheds larger branches and has too many flowers. It indicates the tree is directing its resources to parts that are still healthy by getting rid of the unhealthy ones.

You should always get rid of crossed branches. Similarly, narrow branch angles should be corrected, but it is done best when young trees are.

Falling branches is not always a sign of dying trees, as sometimes it happens due to the Branch Drop Syndrome. However, it can happen to healthy trees and is common in eucalyptus, sycamore, elm, and beech. Hire a professional arborist to do that as you might not be able to do it yourself.

3- A Tree Under Power Lines

Trees under power lines should never grow beyond 25′. Trees that cross that limit have to be thinned out or cut, depending upon the situation. Rainy weather can cause the current to pass through wet foliage and cause power failures or damage properties.

However, you should never try to remove a tree entangled in power lines since it can be hazardous. A small misstep can lead to serious consequences such as electrocution. Therefore, it is always better to hire a professional with all the necessary equipment and understanding to perform this job.

4- The Available Space

Growing trees in the wilderness and your garden are two completely different things. Trees planted in groves grow well together and form a mass. On the other hand, wrongly planted trees can mess up your vegetable garden.

The tree branches can hang over your roof causing problems such as leaky roofs. The generally accepted rule is to plant large trees 20 feet away from your home. However, you can grow smaller trees, such as dogwood, as close as 6 feet to your home.

5- Stress

While trees can be protected from stress, sometimes the situation is beyond help, and you need to remove it. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not have enough information, which sometimes leads to trees coming under severe stress and reducing flower production.

Epicormic shoots refer to the smaller sprouts on tree trunks which are a sign of stress. These sprouts usually result from stress from construction, excessive exposure to the sun due to thinning, etc.

Hire an arborist to evaluate such a tree and decide if it is worth cutting.

7- Surface Roots

Some trees have their roots close to the surface throughout their lives, while others go deeper. Whether surface roots are a problem depends upon the plant type you are dealing with.

You can compare your trees to those in outdoor gardens to see if surface roots are a norm or exception. The presence of surface roots means the tree has problems fetching nutrients for its maintenance and growth.

Similarly, roots closer to the surface are also more prone to damage from animals, lawnmowers, weather, etc. They can also cause excessive damage to flower beds. Therefore, if you find the roots on the surface, better call an expert and have the situation evaluated.

8- Different Leaves

Leaves can tell a lot about the health of a tree. For example, healthy trees have more leaves than unhealthy ones, providing thicker foliage. Similarly, the leaves of sick trees often develop a different color. The leaves of a healthy tree usually have a bright color, while those of an unhealthy tree does not have a consistent color.

In addition to that, trees not shedding leaves during autumn & early winter can also be a sign of sickness. It also leads to a lackluster bloom the next spring season.

9- Dying Roots

The holes and dips appearing on your lawn can indicate roots of trees are rotting. It will also lead to the growth of mushrooms, which get their fuel from dead roots. Roots are necessary for supporting a tree and keeping it upright. When roots rot, trees can collapse at any moment. If you notice any of these signs, it is time to cut down the tree.

10- Fungus & Critters

A plant full of fungus, ants, beetles, and insects means it is rotting from the inside. With every passing day, the tree becomes weaker, and its ability to fight harsh climates declines. A dying tree is also a home for troublesome pests such as caterpillars, scorpions, etc. These pests are not only harmful to the tree but to your home too.

Hire an expert tree doctor to evaluate the condition of the tree to reach an informed decision.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know the top 10 signs indicating a tree should be cut, making an informed decision will be easier. Always ensure that you evaluate the situation properly before cutting down a tree. 

Hiring an expert tree surgeon from Best of the Web to assess the situation is better, as sometimes you face complexities such as electric wires, large branches, etc.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment