Trees that contribute to your home's landscape represent a significant investment, so when you notice that your tree is diseased or has broken branches, you will want to do anything you can to save it. However, there are some cases where a tree cannot possibly recover. Here are three signs that your tree will need to be removed instead of rehabilitated.
1. Much of the tree is dead.
If your tree looks like a stark combination of living branches and deadened growth, it's probably beyond saving. Some trees, as they reach the latter years of their lifespan, will have large dead patches that cannot be restored to healthy foliage. Some diseases, like blight, can also cause large sections of the tree to die. Saving trees with too much dead foliage is difficult because it requires extensive pruning to remove all the unhealthy limbs. When there are too many to remove, the tree will not have the ability to heal or "bounce back" from the pruning.
2. The trunk is significantly damaged.
The trunk helps to protect and stabilize a tree. When the trunk is damaged, the tree is open to diseases and can be weakened in the event of a storm. A small scratch on the trunk will heal over quickly, but the following damage types warrant tree removal:
- when the bark has been completely stripped on most of the trunk's circumference. Trees cannot replace bark over wounds-- the wounds are sealed. Removing this much bark exposes the tree to diseases and will leave in vulnerable in the future.
- large gouges or gashes remove a portion of the bark and heat of the trunk. Chinks like this will not grow back, so the tree becomes a safety hazard as it is much more susceptible to falling over.
- internal rot or decay. Diseased trees can die from the inside out. To look for internal decay, check for dying branches, insect colonies, and vertical cracks that run the length of the trunk.
4. Your tree begins to lean.
Trees can be planted crooked or grow with a angle in windy areas, but trees that were once straight and begin to lean should be removed promptly. Sudden leaning suggests damage or weakening of the root system. Your tree could fall over onto a person or part of your home (or a neighbors). Call a tree service, such as Todd's Tree Service Inc, to assess the lean on your tree and have them take the tree down safely.