To Remove Or Not To Remove: Does Your Tree Pose A Danger?

Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Blog, Home & Garden | 0 comments

An important part of caring for your home is performing preventive maintenance to stop damage from even occurring. One of these tasks is monitoring the trees in your yard to determine if any of them need to be cut down. Removing a tree before it falls prevents the hassle of dealing with your insurance company and may prevent injury as well. So how do you know if a tree poses a real danger? Read on for some key warning signs to look for that may indicate danger.

Half the Tree is Dead

A good rule of thumb is that if the tree lacks foliage or needles on 50 percent of its branches, it should be removed. Look at the tree when it has developed foliage in the spring or summer to determine if at least 50 percent of the branches lack leaves. If the tree is an evergreen, you can examine it any time of the year. Losing half of the foliage indicates that the tree is in decline. It may continue to live for years, but there’s no reason to take the chance if it is close to your home.

Excessive Leaning

Leaning trees don’t always indicate that they are dying, but it is almost always a reason to remove them before they damage your home. First, look around the base of the tree to determine if the soil is cracked or raised up, which indicates a failure of the root system. Then, stand back far enough so that you can see the entire tree from top to bottom. Examine how far the trunk is leaning compared to the horizontal ground. If the tree is leaning more than 15 percent, have it removed.

Cracks and Splits

Cracks in the trunk occur for many reasons and are a cause for concern. Splits and breaks occur due to freeze damage, weak trunk structure, lightning, and fungus or rot. Examine the entire trunk of the tree carefully, using binoculars to see the upper portions. If you notice any splitting, have it examined by a professional immediately. Once a crack starts, it typically continues to worsen over time. Additionally, these cracks allow moisture and fungus to begin to rot the inside of the trunk.

If you are concerned about any of the trees near your home but are unsure whether they are dangerous, call a certified tree arborist, such as through These experts can assess the health of a wide variety of trees and tell you whether you have reason to worry.

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