Like most living things, trees eventually die. However, it isn't always necessary to fell a tree that may be diseased or slowly dying off. Sometimes you can let a tree quietly perish in place, but determining when this is an appropriate tactic to take can be challenging. Here are three questions to ask to help you decide if you should leave a dying or diseased tree alone or have a professional tree removal service cut it down:
Where Is It Located?
One of the most important questions that must be asked when deciding whether to fell a tree or not is where it is located. Dying trees eventually weaken, which may cause branches to fall off or the entire structure to tip over. As you can imagine, this will lead to serious problems if the tree is next to buildings, fences, or other things that may be damaged if the tree falls over.
Thus, if there are items in the tree's path that could be destroyed if it or its branches fall, it's best to fell the tree before it gets to that point. Even if the tree is situated away from structures and next to other trees, you should still take care to evaluate the risk of damage. The tree may fall and knock over another dying tree that, in turn, lands on your—or your neighbor's—shed, for instance. So even in this situation, it may be best to turn the tree into firewood.
Can You Afford to Maintain the Tree?
As noted previously, you can let a tree die in place, but it may still require quite a bit of maintenance in the meantime. For instance, if the tree is dying slowly, you may want to have the dead branches cut off to prevent them from breaking off and falling on property or people. It may also be necessary to hire an arborist to check the tree's progress on a regular basis and to make sure disease hasn't set in.
If you can't afford to pay for the services needed to maintain safety around the tree, it may be best to go ahead and have it removed.
Is It Under City or HOA Protection?
Some trees are designated landmarks by the city and others are required to remain in place by the homeowner's association. Regardless of who made the rules, you may be required to obtain permission to cut down the tree from another party before you do it.
This may be challenging to accomplish, especially if the tree still has some life in it. The city or HOA may require you to make a good faith attempt to save the tree before removing it, which may be expensive. It's best to consult the laws (or bylaws) to see what the rules are and talk to an attorney to discuss your options.
For help deciding whether to have a tree on your property removed, contact a local tree service company.