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When it's Time to Remove a Tree

Trees are beautiful. Who doesn't love them? Not only do they lend character to a property, they also help the environment by providing oxygen, homes to animals and help stop soil erosion. Studies have also shown that beyond their environmental value, trees can help ease the mind, relax your mood, and can be a helpful therapeutic sight for those undergoing emotional or mental anxieties. This compliments the generally accepted fact that among all the colors, green is one of the most relaxing.

There comes a time, however, when a tree needs to be removed from a property. The first decision before you resort to tree removal hinges on whether doing so is the only solution available. The next decision is if you will be the one to do the task yourself or if you will be seeking expert assistance.


Properly Assessing the Situation

One of the oft-cited reasons for cutting down a tree is when it is posing a threat to property. A tree that leans dangerously close to your home, for example, is a problem that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Trying to delay the task, or going for a shortcut solution, such as cutting off some branches instead of taking out the whole tree, is akin to waiting for an accident to happen.

Sometimes the property threat is not immediately obvious. Often times, when a tree is planted, people do not think about how big the tree will get and what kind of space will be needed to accommodate it once fully grown. Tree roots can grow into pipes and utilities, busting underground water and sewage, and grow under driveways, walkways and sidewalks, eventually causing them to crack, push up and break apart.

Things can become even worse when the property likely to be affected involves not only your own home, but also properties nearby. Since the tree in question is on your property, you need to take immediate action or you could be held liable for damage of neighboring properties. This is especially true if the damage was caused because of your negligence to remove a dying or dead tree.

Tree service and removal companies will usually offer free estimates to come and take a look at the tree or trees you want to remove. Always make sure the company you are dealing with is fully licensed and insured at the time of work. If something does get damaged or destroyed, the liability should no longer be yours.

Once a professional looks at the tree, they should go over several things. First off is the health of the tree itself. Does the tree need to be removed? Is it sick and dying? Or are there other options. If more than half of the tree is already damaged, then it might be time to remove it. Signs of a damaged tree include a hollow trunk, bald branches, and a decaying exterior. If the tree is past the point of saving, then removal is the only option and the tree service company should go over the process of removal with you.


Safety first

Even when a tree is healthy, it is best to look forward, and look for any impending issues that may arise at a later date.

Even when a tree is healthy, it is best to look forward, and look for any impending issues that may arise at a later date. If you are not in a situation where you can regularly trim or prune a tree, then it may be best to remove the tree before it becomes a burden. Trees that are close to your property, neighbors or overhanging regularly used areas like a driveway should be inspected, pruned/trimmed on an annual basis. If this is not something the property owner can commit to, then it may be best to have the tree removed while it is smaller and not posing a threat to anyone or anything around it.

If your tree runs close to or even under power lines they can pose an immediate threat to the safety of the people living nearby. In many areas, there are guidelines that should be adhered to when it comes to trees that grow near power lines, such as height restrictions. Be sure to understand the laws in your area if you have a tree in this situation. A tree that is left unchecked near power lines can be a serious threat to the immediate vicinity if it were every to topple during a storm or any other reason.

When power lines are destroyed or damaged, the eventual outcome apart from damage to property is power outage. The loss of electricity supply in the neighborhood or across town poses a severe impact on businesses. The same is true for those relying on electricity for a living or those who need special electrical equipment for health reasons.

This is a situation where a professional service company should be called in unless you are particularly skilled and knowledgeable enough to get the job done. Regardless, it is always best to consult with a professional before trying to tackle a job yourself. Depending on your location, varying rules on tree removal likewise govern different territorial jurisdictions. While in certain areas it is legal for the homeowner to remove a tree if it is in his property, the same is not true in other places across the country. Laws in certain states or municipalities may require that an expert and duly certified arborist do the tree removal. As such, it is imperative that you check existing regulations in your area to help you determine how to proceed with the whole thing without getting into any sort of trouble. Please feel free to contact VMG with any questions.

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