To Cut or Not to Cut: What to do with a Large Tree Dying?

You can have a relationship with a tree like you have with a pet or loved one. Trees grow along with us and live long lives. They can provide a certain kind of gentle companionship for life.

But just like anything else, at a certain point, it becomes time for these trees to go. These old trees, as beautiful as they are, can become safety hazards to anything and everything around them. As the tree begins to rot and more branches begin to fall, you’ll need to decide whether or not to take serious action.

Should you look into large tree removal? That depends on a number of factors. Read on, and we’ll walk you through them below.

Is Your Tree Definitely Dying?

Many homeowners are unclear on what signs to look out for when it comes to a dying tree. The symptoms you may be noticing might not be related to death. Also, there’s always a chance that a sick tree can be revived.

To see if a tree is dead, try a few different tasks. Scratch some twigs against the bark and see if there is green underneath. Check for peeling bark or mushrooms at the tree’s base. Look up and check for deformed or missing leaves. These signs taken together show evidence of a dead or dying tree.

If your tree isn’t showing these symptoms, it could still have years ahead of itself!

Should I Cut Down My Dead Tree?

If you’ve looked for symptoms and found that your tree definitely is dying our deepest condolences. No one likes to see such a large and venerable presence go.

Unfortunately, if your tree is dead, you’ll need to have it removed. A dead tree can pose a serious risk to your home or anything around it. A single oak tree can weight over 5,000 pounds. That’s a weight you don’t want coming down on your roof.

The damage from such an incident can be mightily expensive. Many homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover tree-related damages if they can prove that the tree should have been removed.

If you’re unsure whether a tree in your yard poses a risk, you can bring in an arborist to investigate. You can read more here about tree inspection.

What If My Tree Isn’t Dead?

If the large tree in your backyard isn’t dead, it still might be causing a number of issues that may be worth its removal.

For one, it may be making activities you want to do on your land tough. If a tree is preventing you from installing a porch or making changes to your property, there may be no other choice than to have it removed.

Tree roots also can sometimes cause major structural damage to a piece of property. They can grow to the surface and impact the drainage patterns of a property. They can also lift sidewalks and other structural support.

Roots can cause tripping hazards and such trees can also drop berries that are easily tracked into the house. Even if a tree isn’t dying, these can all be reasons to have one removed from your property.

Potential Reasons Not to Cut Your Large Tree

Maybe you’re feeling some sense of trepidation when it comes to taking that large tree off of your property. Why? There are many reasons why homeowners decide to keep such trees.

For one, if you find out that a sick tree is actually healthy, you may no longer want to get rid of it. That’s why it’s so important to have your tree evaluated before making a decision.

Sometimes, homeowners actually aren’t allowed to remove trees from their property without permission. You should check with your neighborhood board or committee before committing to tree removal. Some have laws and codes on what trees are permitted to be cut and when.

You also may have to go through a permitting process before being allowed to cut down a tree. Always check your local jurisdiction before taking action.

Financial and Emotional Costs

Outside of the above, there are also certain costs to keep in mind when it comes to large tree removal. Tree removal can be quite costly. You can get a quote or estimate from your local tree removal company and evaluate if you have room in your budget.

Outside of the financial costs, you should seriously consider the emotional turmoil that removing a tree can produce. It might surprise you how much a tree can mean to your daily mental health. You may not realize just how much it can contribute until it’s gone.

Some people ascribe deeper meaning to their trees, planting them on special occasions, like the birth of their children. Some people grow up with a tree in their yard for their whole lives. Removing the tree can be more difficult emotionally then some are prepared for.

After Tree Removal

After removing your tree, make sure that the tree removal company you’ve picked is planning on disposing of it properly. If the tree is cut some ways from your house, consider leaving the stump, and the nature around your house will thank you.

If you’d like to keep the tree as part of your yard in a different way, you could always have the trunk turned into a bench or some kind of sculpture. This way it can decay gracefully over many more years.

Deciding to Cut Down Your Large Tree

Deciding on keeping or getting rid of a large tree in your yard can be a difficult decision-making process. Hopefully considering the pros and cons above can help you make the choice that is best for your home.

Need more homeowner’s advice, tips, and tricks? Check out our blog for more.

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