The trees offer shade, fruit, wood and beauty to our homes year after year. However, after seasons pass or pests take over, these faithful fixtures can interfere with the safety of your property and the other trees around them.

The most pressing cases are trees with hanging limbs ready to fall. Also called widow makers in the tree removal industry, these limbs can be extremely dangerous when they are large. Under the wrong circumstances, a heavy limb can kill a passerby or severely damage property.

Over the course of time, portions of trees can die off due to pests, physical damage or poor nutrition. When dead wood occupies most of the tree, it needs to be removed. Most often, dead wood doesn’t appear until spring, so it can be hard to spot earlier in the year. The larger the tree and its section of dead wood, the more it needs to be removed. It’s important to inspect the tree for its level of damage. While dead trees can be useful to animals like woodpeckers, they can be dangerous in areas near homes or cars.

Questions to Ask Before Removing a Tree

While it’s best to hire a professional tree service to do the actual work, it’s a good idea to examine the trees you want to remove from your property first. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not you should cut down or move the tree.

Valuable species?

Some trees are more home friendly than others. Species like black locust, mulberry, poplars and willows can be considered “undesirable” for their weak wood prone to breakage, dropping debris, shallow roots that damage pavement and pest and disease attraction. If the tree in question falls into any of these species, it’s easier to justify removal.

Healthy Tree?

Examine the tree you want to cut down and pay close attention to the trunk and limbs for scarring and other damage. Internal decay often appears as vertical cracks, seams, dead branch stubs and large older wounds. Trees are tough enough to heal and thrive with as much as 25% damage on their trunks. If the tree is damaged over 50% it should be removed. Damage can also take form as a fungus or other limb damage that can spread to more trees on your property.

Hazardous Location?

Just like buildings and vehicles, power lines can pose a serious threat around dead or unstable trees. For healthy trees growing near power lines, simple annual pruning suffices. Dead trees are more at risk of falling onto lines and other objects. However during wet weather or thunderstorms, electricity can arc to wet foliage and cause power failure or property damage. If you have a tree on your property that you’d like to remove or inspect, call SAB Lawn, Landscaping and Tree Services, Inc.