8 Times When a Tree Needs to be Cut Down

Trees are beautiful and their value is inestimable. They clean the air and fill it with oxygen, bring shade, cool down buildings and pavement and provide fruit, timber and other products. But sometimes, trees simply have to be removed from an area. Here are eight reasons why:

1. The Tree is Too Close to the House

When a large tree grows too close to the house its roots can damage the sewer system and even the foundation of the building. The branches of the tree can rub against the house and damage the siding or the roof. The branches may snap off in a storm and cause even more damage. Wet leaves can encourage the growth of mold, and mold is also a risk for the interior of the house if the tree is so close to a window that it blocks sunlight. The tree may drop fruit or flowers on the roof that attract disease and vermin.

2. The Tree is an Undesirable Species

Certain trees were planted fairly extensively before it was discovered that they weren’t the best trees to plant in a residential area. They were either subject to disease or were at risk of suffering such damage in bad weather that their heavy branches were torn off or the tree actually fell. Other trees have bad smells, are invasive or are so hydrophilic that their roots invade drainpipes and clog sewer systems. Such trees include female gingkoes, ailanthus trees, Norway maples, Bradford pears and willows.

In some cases, there is nothing wrong with the tree or its species. It is simply in the way and needs to be taken out.

3. The Tree is Sick, Badly Injured or Dead

Ideally, a tree that has been badly injured or is sick should be removed. Some dead trees can stand where they are for years, but they are unattractive and can fall over without warning, which makes them dangerous.

Signs that a tree is unhealthy include one side full of dead branches, suckers sprouting from the roots or mushrooms growing on or near it.

4. The Tree Is Leaning

A tree that is suddenly more than 15 degrees from the straight vertical is probably doing so because it’s roots have been disturbed. This makes it susceptible to falling all the way over.

5. The Tree is Overhanging the Neighbor’s Property

Branches overhanging the property of the next door neighbor might not be the only problem. Its roots may also have encroached into the neighbor’s yard. If the tree is sick and falls suddenly, it can damage structures on the property, including the house. The tree’s owner is going to be liable for damages.

6. The Tree is Too Close to a Power Line

Everyone has seen trees whose limbs have been pruned away to make way for power lines and has heard of trees toppling over in powerful storms and taking power lines with them. This can knock out power for entire neighborhoods for days or even weeks. Only a skilled tree surgeon should remove a tree whose branches interfere with power lines, and power lines that have been snapped by a tree should not even be approached by a lay person.

7. The Tree is Too Close to a Recreational Area

A tree that drops leaves, twigs, nuts, seeds, flowers and branches into a pool or a play area needs to be taken down if the homeowner isn’t up to doing the maintenance to clear away the debris.

8. The Trees are Crowded Together

Though trees that grow together support each other during storms, they should not be allowed to grow into a tangled and unsightly mess. Trees that are that close together fight for nutrients and even sunlight, and some trees come out the worse for it. These sick and weak trees are best removed.

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