How to know when/if a tree should be removed.
It should be obvious, if your tree is completely dead, it absolutely should be cut down for safety reasons. Leaves and needles will fall when a tree is not doing well. Smaller leaves than normal on a tree could be a sign of the health of a tree… Limbs and branches will start falling soon after the tree has expired. There is also a risk that the whole tree could fall as well, endangering property, pets, and even lives.
But what about struggling trees? A damaged or partially dead tree can also be dangerous. Sometimes they can recover, and the human inclination is to give everyone a second chance. Let’s look at some of the considerations first before deciding.
How close is the tree to living spaces?
The first consideration should always be human life and limb. Does this tree threaten sidewalks, a road, or perhaps a backyard where children might play? Is it dangerously close to your home, perhaps leaning towards a bedroom, or an often-occupied back deck? These are areas you simply don’t want to have a tree hospital. If there is any real risk to people, consult your Professionals at Frontier Tree Service and have them handle it.
Is it more costly to treat the tree or to replace it?
As “Tree People”, we love our trees and would rather save them whenever possible. Sometimes this is not possible or recommended. Generally, it depends a lot on what your vision and the recommendations of our Arborist, what a replacement might be. Also, some diseases are easily treated with a variety of nutrients but for many diseases the necessary applications can be costly and require years of treatment to be effective. It is best to get professional consultation from our certified arborists at Frontier to get a full grasp on the effectiveness and cost of saving a tree before spending your money on what may be a lost cause. You might also consider replacement with a hardier species a better long-term solution, depending on the original cause of the tree’s decline. In the end, this decision is up to you.
Being realistic about a trees chance of recovery
Whether it’s wind damage, or perhaps die-back from drought or nutritional deficiencies, every tree has a limit to what it can fully recover from. This isn’t an exact science, but canopy damage of somewhere between 25%-50% could be enough to doom most hardwood trees. If disease is the cause, as little as 15% canopy loss can spell irreversible decline in many species of trees. Knowing the cause is key to making this assessment. Perhaps the tree is just water stressed and dropped its leaves early to protect itself. It is well worth the money to have an arborist give you a diagnostic report and recommendations. We are here to help you make an informed decision and have the facts in hand, rather than going down the rabbit hole!
Don’t take bad advice
Your neighbor really does mean well with his tree advice, “Just throw down some Weed & Feed, it’ll give it a boost!”
But the truth is there are thousands of tree species and sometimes dozens of sub-groups and hybrids within a species. Unless your neighbor just happens to be a certified arborist, and familiar with the kinds of trees in your area, their guess is exactly that. Professionals will sometimes send off soil or leaf samples to specify exactly the nature of what is causing the decline in a tree. You take your animals to a vet. Take an arborist to your trees.
Taking the long view…
Remember that there is a good chance that most of the trees on your property will out-live your great-grand kids. If a tree is in decline, the sooner it is replaced, the sooner a healthy and well cared for tree will someday tower over that same area. Instead of feeling badly about the end of a tree’s life, think about the beginning of a new tree’s life. A life that may likely go on for centuries!
Contact us NOW at Frontier to schedule an appointment!
We look forward to hearing from you!