As a gardener, you want all parts of your garden and yard to look as good as possible. So it can be extremely disappointing to realize that the bark on one of your trees is starting to fall off or that your tree has become a host to a swarm of bark beetles.
You might wonder — does my tree need to be cut down or is there a way to save it?
There are certain signs that you’ll want to watch out that indicate that it is time to cut a tree down. While it is possible to recover the health of some trees, you don’t want to risk leaving a dead tree in your yard. You also don’t want to let a tree grow so large that it becomes a safety hazard due to the proximity of the tree to your house or the power lines.
Signs of a dying tree
Certain signs indicate that a tree is no longer healthy. These signs include brittle bark, limbs starting to fall off, lack of healthy leaves during the growing season, and large amounts of pests such as carpenter ants living in the tree. You may also notice the tree starting to lean in an usual way. You might also notice fungus, such as mushrooms, starting to grow on trees. However, sometimes fungal infections can be treated before they spread, allowing you to save the tree.
Hazards of a decaying tree
A decaying tree can cause a safety problem for you, your neighbors, or other people. Over time, the wood of a decaying tree becomes brittle, making it more likely that a branch or a limb will fall, which could cause a serious injury if someone is struck by the falling branch. A falling limb could also land on a house or a car, resulting in property damage. You could end up being held financially responsible if the branch of a decaying tree injuries someone or damages property.
Other reasons to remove the tree
Another reason to remove a tree, even if it isn’t dead, is if the tree is too close to your house or is interfering with a powerline. Even trees that aren’t dead could still fall over in a heavy storm. This could result in the tree damaging property or falling on the powerline. You could also decide that you just no longer want a tree and it has become a nuisance — maybe it is taking up too much yard space or leaves berries all over the place.
DIY or professional
Once you decide to remove a tree, consider whether you want to do it yourself or if you should hire a professional. Taking down trees can be tricky, especially if the tree is large or if it could fall on a powerline or your house. If you don’t have experience with tree removal, it could make sense to look into tree surgeon companies that can help remove the tree. If you cut the tree down yourself, look at an online tutorial before starting the process.
When to leave the tree alone
The only time you should consider leaving a dying tree alone is if the tree is located somewhere where it won’t pose a safety concern if it falls. For example, if you have a large property and the tree isn’t near a building or powerline. Or if it is located deep within the woods. Dying and fallen trees can make great habitats for animals, so if the tree can decay without causing harm, consider leaving it alone. It’ll eventually fall or decay due to natural circumstances.
Keep trees healthy
While all trees will eventually die, there are certain tips you can use to help your trees stay as healthy as possible. Make sure to plant trees where they’ll have plenty of room to grow and where they’ll have access to the appropriate amount of sunlight. Fertilizer and water the tree as needed to make sure it gets needed nutrients. And when you notice dead branches, trim them back so healthy branches can grow. The good news is, most trees are good at taking care of themselves!
When it comes to keeping a healthy garden, don’t overlook your trees! While trees might not need as much maintenance as your flowers, you still want to check on them regularly to make sure they’re healthy. If you suspect that you have a dead tree, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional to see if it needs to be removed.