The decision to remove a tree is never easy especially here on the prairies. Here is a quick reference guide to some of the reasons removal might be the best option
Obvious reasons for tree removal
- The tree is dead
- Declining health–the branches or top of tree is dying back; large dead branches; decay on the main trunk.
- Major storm damage and the tree is beyond repair
- Tree is too close to the house or other buildings, utility lines, play structures pools etc…
- The tree is leaning towards and obvious target–house, driveway, patio, play area or pool.
- It’s become a nuisance–dropping seeds, sap, branches, and block views, light and inhibiting lawn. See below for an outside link about lawns.
- Roots pose a serious threat to foundations, driveways and sidewalks, or underground utilities.
- View clearing
- Major landscape renovations that would either damage trees, or because a tree is not well matched to its location. See below for an outside link on landscape tree choices.
Not so obvious reasons to remove a tree
- Structural problems
- Bad crotches with included bark or repeated cracks
- Cracks on the main trunk or main leaders
- The tree is just too big for the location and poses challenges to safety if it falls or drops branches
- New construction–the tree will either be mortally damaged by equipment and disturbance to the ground under it, or is directly in the way of construction. Consider tree removal before the construction rather than after.
- Major diseases or insect infestations that will likely kill the tree soon, or spread disease to other trees.
- Interior decay (such as in the photo at the top of the page)
- Leaning in the wrong direction
- Crowding among trees–prioritize which trees are healthiest and worth keeping
Obvious reasons to have a stump removed:
• Mowing nuisance