Vintage trees provide value and beauty to your property. Mature trees also offer shade that may reduce your power bill if the shade covers your house. It's always a tough decision to cut down an old tree, but it is sometimes necessary for safety reasons. Here are some signs that it's time to have a tree removed.
The Tree Starts Leaning
Some mature trees develop a slight lean as they age, and that doesn't necessarily indicate trouble. However, if you notice htat the tree seems to be leaning when you didn't notice it before, you may want to call in an arborist to take a look. You can also examine the base of the tree. If one side of the tree is elevated enough that there's a gap between the bottom of the tree and the soil or if the soil is heaved, that's a sign of fairly recent movement.
This might happen if the weight of the tree was lopsided or if a period of heavy rain saturated the soil at the base of the tree. If it's determined the tree is leaning, a tree expert might be able to save it. However, if the tree is leaning toward your house or driveway, you may want to have it removed just to keep your family and property safe in case the tree topples over.
The Leaves And Bark Show Signs Of Disease
A warning sign you don't want to ignore is diseased leaves and bark. The sooner you treat a tree disease, the better the chance of saving the tree and preventing the spread of the fungus or infestation. When the disease progresses, large limbs and even the trunk of the tree can be affected, which leads to the removal of the tree. Signs to watch for include dying leaves and branches, leaves covered with spots or bumps, cracks in the trunk, bark peeling off, and an accumulation of sawdust material at the base of the tree.
The Tree Splits Due To Storm Damage
Sometimes storm damage is severe enough that you have to remove a tree. If a large limb splits off and shears off the side of the trunk, the tree may not be able to ward off insects or fungus. Losing a limb can also affect the stability of the tree and put it at risk of toppling during the next storm. Sometimes a big tree can split apart and not lose one side or the other.
Depending on the amount of damage done, an arborist might be able to save the tree by stabilizing it so the sides don't split further. Mature trees with storm damage should be inspected by an expert for safety reasons. It may be possible to save a tree with aggressive trimming, but it may be necessary to remove the tree for safety reasons.
You should examine your trees occasionally through binoculars for a close look at the leaves and bark near the top of the tree. If you see any changes that look suspicious, call in an expert for treatment if possible before the tree has to be removed. Even if you take excellent care of your trees, at some point they will need to come down due to age. It's better to remove them safely on your own schedule rather than have a tree crash down when you least expect it.