Trees are an awesome and necessary part of the environment, but sometimes, you just happen to really take a liking to a particular tree in your yard, especially if you've been leaning on it for years. That can make the prospect of removing the tree an unpleasant and even emotional experience, but do you have to cut it down? Does your favorite old tree have to be chopped up and hauled away? Maybe not. Ask yourself the following questions before sharpening your ax or calling a tree removal service.
Is It Just Old, Or Is Something Serious Wrong?
Many species of trees in America can live decades to hundreds of years, meaning your favorite tree might simply be entering middle age rather than actually dying. You also may not know the exact age of the tree, making discerning the problem a little more challenging. Take a good look at the tree to see if you can spot situations that may indicate a health problem:
- Leaning to one side, which might have happened due to lack of care or severe storm exposure but may be resolvable if it's not too late.
- Cracks in the bark could be due to age or insects; they'll be damaging if they run too deep, so they should be inspected by a professional.
- Weak branches that don't seem well-attached to the trunk are a possible sign of tree sickness or age but, either way, need to be addressed to prevent falling.
- Rotting in your favorite tree is a bad sign; however, it doesn't automatically mean the end, especially if rotting is localized near the ground, where spores may sprout.
- Cankers, which are dead bumps and bulges on the bark, usually indicate interior bacteria are at work, so your tree may simply need a doctor rather than a chainsaw.
Even if there's something wrong with a tree, along with it being older, it may have plenty of years left to give, but determining the difference between aging and disease can be tricky, as is figuring out how to help the tree to heal.
Have You Done All You Can For The Tree?
As strong and mighty as they are, trees often need a little help from their friends. Make sure all of the trees in your yard are cared for well, either by you or a hired expert. Preventative actions extend the life of trees, along with improving the overall appearance of your landscaping.
- Protect the trees from human harm, such as what might be inflicted through climbing, attaching signs, or building tree houses and general bumps and bruises, especially with sharp objects.
- Be aware of specific watering needs and how the weather might affect your duties if rainfall comes up short.
- Don't smother a tree's base with wood chips or other mulch, as doing so prevents the roots from absorbing the nutrients the tree needs.
- Keep all trees trimmed, particularly those close to your house or power lines and those that appear to be weighing down the tree.
- Be watchful for insects and disease, then be quick to address either by calling a professional tree service.
How Can A Professional Help You Save The Tree?
Beyond the sometimes extreme solution of cutting down a tree, a professional tree removal service can advise you on how to save a particular tree, if it's possible. They can closely examine the tree, identifying different potential issues, and offer ways to treat them. A tree pro can tell you what's going on with other trees in your yard, too, especially if the one you favor has something that could spread. There are also special braces for trees, which, if your elderly elm or old oak is eligible for, could help support it through a difficult time or permanently, as needed.
No matter what the diagnosis of your tree, a professional can climb, trim, and otherwise alter it in safe ways, which you may not be capable of without endangering yourself. Beyond the knowledge they'll impart, tree pros take the risks that you should most likely avoid, even with your noble intentions of saving the tree.
With a caring touch and the help of a professional tree trimming service, your favorite tree may yet survive. If it sadly cannot be saved, ask a pro about planting a replacement, with the forethought in mind that will help it live a happy and healthy life in your yard for many years.