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How Do You Know When It’s Time To Remove A Tree?

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

We know for some people it can be a tough decision to remove a tree, but where a tree is dead, dying or dangerous it can be very costly should it cause damage, not to mention personal injury. As a tree owner you have a duty of care to ensure that you take the necessary action to prevent the risk of a dead, dying or dangerous tree. In some cases, a tree can be managed, for example through pruning or disease management, however, in some cases the safest option is tree removal. We have put together a list of warning signs to look out for that might suggest you need to have your tree inspected by a professional Arborist and possibly removed.


Starting at the roots: look for any signs of heaving soil, severed roots or any decay or fungi


Where the roots meet the trunk: look for any cracks or loose bark. Also check for shoots at the base of the tree, these are known as epicormic shoots and can indicate that the tree is under a lot of stress

Tree trunk with with a large cavity at the base

Inspect the trunk: are there any cracks, large wounds or cavities? These can indicate internal decay. A tree with internal decay can remain standing for years, but it will eventually fail and can become an increasing hazard the longer it is left. Check if the trunk is hollow or rotted inside, if so it will be very compromised and poses a significant risk.


Looking up to the canopy, check the:

Branches – look for dead or dying branches, with no leaves, buds or bark

Leaves – are there any spots, holes or discoloured leaves?

Unions – are there any weak v shaped unions, where two branches join


Stepping back, look at the overall tree and its situation:

Lean – a leaning tree isn’t necessarily an issue, but if it suddenly leans it may indicate structural issues

Proximity to structures – Is the tree too close to the house or other structures? Trees overhanging building or structures might need to be pruned back or sometimes the tree is simply too large for the space and it might be best to remove and replant a more appropriate species.


If you are concerned and would like advice as to whether tree removal is needed, please get in touch for a free, no obligation quote.

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