Trees have a life span and often we see them at the end of it or witness decline due to environmental factors. Arborist consultations cost money and the cost of removal is often enough expense for us to endure.
Trees are living organisms and like us they can have their life shortened due to environmental factors. Some of those factors may be affecting your tree. Identifying them is helpful in determining whether or not your tree needs to be removed. See our other blogs on the microorganism battle that trees face understanding why it is most likely that a tree in decline may stay in decline and need removal and stump grinding or tree trunk removal.
The biggest reason that your tree may need to be removed is over pruning which can kill a tree. Often landscapers/gardeners try to make extra money by going into an area they know nothing about. The end result is over-pruned trees that has stressed the tree into decline and made it susceptible to pests and other invaders.
Licensing and Insurance Separate Tree Service from Landscaping For A Reason
They are 2 different lines of work. Insurance for landscapers often stays 12 feet and below and anything higher is not covered, this obviously affects the premiums and makes it more affordable for a landscaper to try to trim for a cheaper price. Do not be fooled and when that tree cracks your roof is surprised that insurance will not cover it.
Why is over pruning a problem?
Tree photosynthesis and draws up moisture in the roots through the process of evaporating moisture from the leaves. A large tree needs a lot of foliage to pull enough moisture to be able to store food and complete the process of nutrition. Simply over-pruning a tree can kill it. I speak from experience have witnessed my brother (an arborist for 15+ yrs) kill a pine tree.
Tree removal was needed in that case and it was a sad sight to see. ISA reg’s state to not trim more than 30% of a tree’s foliage in any given 2 year period. This is based on a healthy tree and if you have a mature older tree it should be reduced to no more than 10% a year and 30% total over 5 years. Older trees have harder time fighting microorganisms and over-pruning may shorten their lives quickly.
What are some other factors that may be considered and if identified, help you in making the decision to remove your tree realizing that it is in serious decline?
Changes to soil.
Any construction work nearby, water runoff changes, salt or other substance added to soil, mulching near the trunk of a tree or planting nearby, use of herbicides nearby, soil deficiencies, and other factors such as air pollution, etc.
Damage to tree.
This may be obvious like a fractured branch, misc bad pruning techniques, storm damage. Or it could be as hidden as a neighbor cutting a root when putting down a sidewalk and not telling you, roots do not regrow and are vital to structure and food storage for a tree.
All of these factors weigh heavily on a tree, decline, and the way a tree compartmentalizes (kills off) sections of itself to survive also affect the vital functions.
We recommend that if the tree is obviously struggling and replanting is an option to do so. Often in this economy, we are looking for the most economic ways to care for our properties and removal is often cheaper than advanced treatments and maintenance yearly on a tree that will lose the microorganism battle and need removal in 5 years anyway.
I hope this has helped educate you and as always we are here to help. More information on this website