Deciding when to remove a tree can be a long and complicated story. Many factors should be considered, such as the removal cost and the risks involved before getting rid of it. While you can let a tree die in its place if it is located in the forest, backyard trees need human involvement to take place.
Tree removal is not the safest job in the world; that is why it takes a certified arborist to correctly and safely perform the task. Certified arborists are experts in tree care because they have undergone several examinations and have the practical knowledge for application. When deciding to remove a tree, there is no better person to ask than a certified arborist.
Is it a desirable species?
Trees that are considered "undesirable" are those with weak wood, frequent falling of debris, and trees that are vulnerable to infestations. Norway maple, mulberry, poplars, and willows are just some examples of these species.
Is the tree healthy?
The rule of thumb is if the tree is 50% damaged, it should be removed as soon as possible. A damaged tree can still survive for some years but will not have the capacity to grow and look as good as the healthy trees.
Is there trunk damage?
Another thing to watch out for are damages in the trunk such as cracks, seams, and older wounds because they could mean the tree is decaying. If the trunk is seriously damaged, removing it is the best action to take. However, if only 25% is affected, the wound can heal on its own without leaving serious health issues.
Is the tree hollow?
Trees that have hollow trunk can still live for years, thanks to its xylem and phloem that serve as its life support. However, a tree with a hollow trunk has compromised structural stability, which makes it a threat to every property and individual around it. Keep in mind that if a third of the trunk's circumference is hollow, it should be eliminated.
Are there large dead branches?
It is hazardous to keep a large tree with large dead branches in your yard. If 25% of the tree's branches are in trouble, there is hope for it to thrive. When you see crossing branches, remove them right away. Also, make sure to take care of narrow branch angles of the primary trunk because they are prone to splitting. A certified arborist will install cables to support the branches and prevent them from breaking.
Are all dead branches on one side of the tree?
When the answer to this question is a resounding yes, the tree will be unbalanced, which will make it a potential threat to you and your property. A tree that has dead branches on one side suggests trunk damage or root injury on the damaged part. Ask assistance from a certified arborist to correctly evaluate the situation.
Are there sprouts or small branches coming from the trunk?
It is not normal for new sprouts to spring from base or trunk of the tree. This can be an indicator of a health issue within the tree's system. Trees can go through stress, particularly when they are overly exposed to the sun, soil compaction, or injury. If you suspect your tree to be under stress, have an arborist assess it, and provide the right treatment.
Is the tree infested with fungus?
This requires proper evaluation by a certified arborist because it can be tricky at times. Not all fungi, such as mushroom that grow at the base of the tree indicates root disease, but it can mean that the tree is suffering from internal decay.
Is the root damaged?
The roots of a tree are integral for its structural stability; if 50% of it is damaged, it should be removed right away.
Is the tree leaning?
Trees growing too tall are hazardous, but not as dangerous as those that are leaning. A leaning tree suggests problems in the roots like breakage or weakening. To prevent the tree from causing future accidents, it should be eliminated immediately. If the tree is leaning more than 15% of what is considered safe, then it has to be removed.
Is the tree located near power lines?
One of the most common reasons why a tree needs to be removed is when it is located under a power line. If a tree is growing near an electric line, it should be maintained and thinned out regularly to avoid growing more than 25'. Electrical wires can bend up to ten feet during a rainy day. It is enough to wet the tree's foliage and cause power outage property damage, and injury. It is a must to trim limbs and branches that are near power lines. But, it is not a job for an average homeowner. Due to the life I threatening risks involved, it should only be done by a certified arborist.
What is the history of the tree?
Some trees have a history of wrong pruning practices, and it will affect the present situation of its health. For instance, a tree that has undergone "topping" can lead to significant damage to the tree's health. Another factor for a tree's sudden decline is the change of soil level in the root area. A tree is more likely to die if three or more inches of soil cover its root system. With early diagnosis of these stress symptoms, trees can be saved from severe health problems.
Where is the tree planted?
The location of the tree should also be considered when determining whether the tree should be removed or not. Trees should be removed to make way for new construction. If trees are left planted in these areas, they eventually die after three or five years after construction due to grade change and soil compaction.
When you are not sure what to do with your tree, the best person to talk to is a certified arborist. Nabor's Tree Service Chattanooga should be able to evaluate the situation and provide the proper services necessary.
Whether a tree becomes an asset or a costly liability depends on the amount of maintenance we put on maintaining it. Trees that are well-maintained have the power to improve the appeal and enhance the value of your property. When trees are cared for correctly, they provide us with a lot of benefits that range from environmental to economical.
If you want your trees to work for your benefit, you have to be a smart tree owner. Keep in mind that without proper care, trees can change from an asset to a burden.
What is a Certified Arborist?
Proper caring for trees starts with hiring the right person to do the job. Don't just hire the service of someone who claims to be an arborist. What is an arborist? He is a professional in the field of tree care and maintenance. An arborist is well-versed with pruning, fertilizing, diagnosis of diseases, and consultation on issues related to your tree's health. They can also do planting and tree removal.
There are individuals who can come knocking on your door calling himself an arborist when he is not. Be aware of fly-by-night companies that only care about your money and don't really know anything about tree care. Before you allow anyone in your property, make sure that you did your research and choose a reputable and trustworthy tree company. If you are not careful, you could hire a company that will break your fences and damages your properties. Once they get your money, they will fold up and leave, without a trace.
How do I Look for an Arborist or a Tree Care Company?
Look for a tree service company that is a TCIA-member. By doing this, you are assured that you are hiring a company that knows the most recent techniques used for tree care. You are also assured that this company is insured and bonded and that you and your property are protected.
You can also ask recommendations from your friends, family, or neighbors who recently had their tree maintenance. It would also help if you checked with the Better Business Bureau about the companies in your area. Look for information about the company you are reviewing, including their years in service, licenses, professional affiliations, and certifications.
Further, you may want to use the service of a TCIA Accredited company. This accreditation is given to companies which meet strict criteria in different aspects such as employee training, professionalism, and customer satisfaction. Companies undergo an extensive review of their practices to ensure they only provide the best to their clients. Companies accredited by TCIA have shown documents to prove that their service is high-quality and that they mean to protect their customers. Hiring a company that is TCIA-accredited makes you confident that they have insurance, licenses, and good work ethics because these are just some of the things TCIA check when granting accreditation to a tree company.
What are the Important Things I Should Ask an Arborist?
The first thing you should ask or look for when you meet your arborist is their certificates of liability and workers' compensation insurance.
What If I Don't Want to Hire a Professional
Tree care that is not done by a professional is like being treated by a fake doctor. It is not safe. Tree maintenance should be done by a skilled and experienced professional. This will ensure the beauty and the health of your tree, and your safety as well.
We want to emphasize this important fact: tree work is dangerous work. TCIA publishes reports on homeowners being hurt and injured or even being killed due to performing their own tree work. Before you cut any branch in your tree, it is essential that you know your tools and the proper technique in cutting. If you don't know anything about tree care, it is best to contact a professional tree company to assist you.
Hiring a professional tree company does not only protect you from getting hurt but also from spending more than what you should. Studies have shown that it is cheaper to regularly prune trees than taking care of the damages they caused because of negligence. Hire a company that has insurance because in case anything happens while they work in your property, you will not be liable for the cost of repair.
When to Hire an Arborist
It is best to get the service of an arborist during the off-season. Pruning trees are best done during winter when trees are dormant. But aside from that, there are other benefits to hiring an arborist in the winter: