Knowing a few basic tree removal facts can ensure a homeowner is doing everything possible to keep their property in good condition and looking its best. While mature trees offer lots of needed shade and visual appeal, dead or decaying trees need immediate removal, to keep your yard safe.
Check out some important tree removal facts and vital information about pruning, trimming, stump grinding, and other tree care services. You can then discuss your tree care concerns with an arborist or tree services company near you as needed.
Tree Removal Facts & How It is Important
You might need tree removal on your property for any number of reasons, including:
Dead, dying, or decaying trees are at risk of splitting and then collapsing, or of losing branches, often without any warning! Falling branches and trees risk property damage and severe injury to anything and anyone in the vicinity.
Insects and rodents infesting trees can then make their way to your home, or become bothersome when you’re trying to enjoy time outdoors. These pests aren’t just a nuisance, as carpenter ants and termites, in particular, can cause thousands of dollars in damages to a structure.
Tree roots might wrap themselves around underground pipes or attach to foundation concrete. As these roots continue to grow, they put pressure on these fixtures, leading to cracks and other costly damage.
While trees hold moisture in the soil, too many trees can dry out your property so that grass and landscaping features struggle to grow. Too much shade can also mean not enough sunlight for other vegetation.
Tree branches scraping on roof shingles can cause severe damage. Branches can also block solar panels, skylights, and other fixtures.
Branches hanging over fences, parked cars, and other property might risk damage if they snap and fall, and they can also tangle themselves around overhead power lines. If you cannot keep those branches trimmed and pruned as needed, it might be best to consider full-scale tree removal.
Nonnative trees or older trees might simply struggle to thrive no matter how well you take care of them. Wilted or missing leaves, drooping branches, and other signs of struggling can mean a tree that is downright unsightly; removing and replacing it with another tree can ensure your property looks its best.
Is It Bad to Remove Trees?
Removing large trees can affect the overall health of your property’s lawn and vegetation, as well as its appearance. Trees also provide a habitat for many animal species, some of which are helpful for keeping the soil and surrounding vegetation healthy and lush. Exposing soil to hot, direct sunlight can also mean scorched grass and eventual soil erosion.
Improper tree removal can also mean leaving behind an unsightly excavation or dangerous tree stump. These can cause tripping hazards or get in the way of proper lawn care.
However, there are times when the advantages of tree removal far outweigh those disadvantages. Removing an infested tree ensures your family and pets are safe from bothersome pests and reduces the risk of termite and carpenter ant damage, as said.
Dangerous trees also need immediate removal, to keep you and your property safe. Even if a dead or decaying tree seems sturdy, consider that branches can snap in high winds very easily or just crack and fall away without warning. If a tree poses any threat to your property, it’s time for removal!
When to Remove Trees
Homeowners should remove dead trees right away, as an arborist or tree care professional cannot somehow revive such trees. If a tree is diseased or decaying and you’ve attempted to treat it with various fertilizers or feeds, and it simply won’t return to good health, it’s also best to remove it as quickly as possible.
A homeowner should also check trees after severe storms and especially if the tree has been hit by hail or lightning. Damaged trees cannot always be saved and should be removed before they topple; if more than 50% of the tree is damaged or dying off, it’s probably best to schedule immediate tree removal!
Some leaning trees can be supported with braces or cables and might only need a few branches removed, to alleviate weight while the tree grows strong again. However, if a tree is leaning more than 15 degrees, it is probably suffering from root rot or other such damage and will typically need removal.
Note that there isn’t necessarily a good or bad time of year to remove a tree, except that the ground can become frozen during or around wintertime, making it difficult to dig up the roots properly. Otherwise, schedule tree removal for when it can be completed as needed and without disruption to your family or schedule.
What Happens When Trees Are Removed?
Removed trees are usually hauled away to be ground into sawdust or wood chips. In most cases, the wood is not reused or recycled as it can contain insects or fungi or be rotted through the trunk, making it difficult to cut and fabricate.
Homeowners should also consider full stump removal or grinding after tree removal. Stumps are unsightly and can create tripping hazards while also getting in the way of proper lawn care. Stumps might also become home to rodents and insects, while fungi and diseases can take hold of a stump or its roots and then spread to the rest of your property.
Stump removal and grinding can also allow you to replace it with a new tree that thrives on your property and which offers the shade and visual interest you need! You can better plan your overall landscaping when you choose stump grinding along with tree removal on your property.
Trimming Large Trees
Removing overly large and heavy branches reduces the risk of one falling and causing property damage or injury to anything or anyone below. Trimming branches also allows for more sunlight and fresh air circulation, for a healthier tree overall.
Note, too, that trees expend energy to support all their branches. Trimming and pruning can help alleviate the weight on a tree and allow it to expend less energy overall, ensuring better health. Fewer branches can also mean less debris ending up on a home’s roof, for less cleaning and less risk of clogged gutters!
While some trimming is beneficial for larger trees especially, you don’t want to remove too many branches or twigs. Trees get their food and nutrients through leaves and buds, so removing too many of them can cause wilting and permanent damage.
Cutting Tree Roots
In some cases, cutting tree roots can kill the tree. Trees use roots for water and nourishment, so cutting them can literally choke the tree. Roots also hold a tree in place; cutting those roots, especially close to the tree, can cause a tree to topple and eventually fall.
If you need a tree removed and are thinking of just cutting the roots and letting it die, note that dead trees can fall unexpectedly, as said! It’s better to call a tree removal service for safe and professional tree cutting and stump grinding.
A professional tree care company can also cut roots or redirect roots growing too close to plumbing pipes or foundation concrete, without damaging the tree. You can then ensure a safe property and healthy, strong trees in the process!
Removing Trees to Close to a House
Larger trees should be planted at least 20 feet away from a house, to keep their roots from wrapping around the foundation concrete. Placing larger trees closer to the home can also allow their branches to scrape against the roof or exterior window glass, risking damage.
Smaller landscaping trees can typically be planted closer to the home. If you’re not sure of the right distance, consider at least half the width of the tree’s mature canopy. For example, if a landscaping tree has a canopy twenty feet wide, plant it no closer than 10 feet from the home. An arborist or landscaper can also help you decide the right spot for trees you want to plant on your property.
Can I Remove a Tree Myself?
A homeowner should never attempt DIY tree removal! Cutting down a tree risks costly property damage and severe injury to the person cutting the tree and anyone in the vicinity. Tree cutting and felling is also more time-consuming and difficult than property owners might realize.
One important consideration is that tree branches and cut trunks don’t always fall in the direction expected, even when supposedly secured by cables and braces. Branches can suddenly snap off the tree and swing backward or rotate in a completely unexpected direction, risking injury to anyone nearby. Tree trunks can also suddenly split when cut, and then fall unexpectedly or swing in any direction.
Digging up tree roots can mean damage to any underground pipes or fixtures those roots have wrapped around. The excavation left behind by digging up a tree can also cause dangerous tripping hazards! To avoid these risks and ensure a safe property, rely on professional tree removal services.
Do Tree Stumps Grow Back?
Trees can regrow from a cut stump in some cases. Whether or not a tree can regenerate often depends on the health of the roots more than the stump; healthy, strong roots still able to reach moisture, and nutrients can feed that stump so that it then regrows.
However, some stumps might become infested with pests, fungi, or disease, cutting off their growth. Severely damaged stumps or those with odd and uneven cuts might also struggle to grow.
If there is a stump on your property and you don’t want that tree to grow back, don’t assume that the stump will simply wither and die! Have it removed as needed, to ensure the tree doesn’t return. If you do want the tree to regrow, have an arborist inspect the stump and note any work needed to ensure the tree’s regeneration.
Fun Tree Removal Fact: Trees Don't Feel Pain
Trees and other vegetation are considered “living” because they grow and mature over the years and then eventually wither and die. However, trees do not have a nervous system with nerve endings, or brains with pain receptors, so they cannot feel anything when touched, trimmed, or cut down! A property owner should feel free to trim or remove trees as needed, without concern for causing them pain.
Why Should Trees Not Be Cut Down?
Trees offer many advantages to a property, including providing a habitat for various birds and other wildlife. They also add stunning visual interest to a property, creating a relaxing and welcoming feeling most property owners appreciate. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market anytime soon, consider carefully any planned tree removal, as potential buyers might appreciate lots of mature trees outside their new home!
Trees also take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. If your home is located near a busy highway, production facility, marina, airport, or another pollution source, keep as many trees on your property as possible! Those trees will improve outdoor air quality and reduce air pollution levels.
In areas with strong, hot sunlight, trees help protect the grass and other vegetation from getting scorched and prevent overly dry soil on your property. They also provide shade for your home, potentially lowering your cooling costs throughout the summer months.
Trees also prevent soil erosion and help block floods; in some areas, it’s even illegal to remove trees such as mangroves, as this helps stop rising floodwaters, hurricanes, and other such disasters. If you live along a floodplain or near any waterbody, you might consider keeping trees on your property for protection in case of flooding.
Cedar Rapids Tree Removal Services is happy to offer this shortlist of tree removal facts to our readers and hope you found it helpful! If you’re still concerned about a tree on your property or need to schedule pruning, trimming, tree removal, or stump grinding services, call our expert Cedar Rapids tree care contractors. We ensure quality services at affordable prices and happily explain our tree care processes every step of the way. For more information, use our online contact form or call us today.
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