Trees are an important part of softscaping—the elements of landscaping that deal with living, growing things like plants and flowers. Their beauty, shade, and character provide us with enjoyment and comfort, but there are times when it’s necessary to remove a tree for the health, design, or functionality of your outdoor space. Here are some tips to help you figure out when tree removal is needed.
Design Needs: Maybe you’ve decided to add a patio or deck to your outdoor space. Maybe you’re putting in a pool, or want more space for gardening. As your ideas for how to best utilize your outdoor space evolve, it may become necessary to remove a tree to bring new ideas to life.
Functional Needs: In evaluating whether a tree serves or harms the functionality of your property, you have to consider all of its parts. Are the branches continually growing into power lines? Is the tree too close to the home, where its branches scratch against roof or siding or windows?
Beyond that, a tree may not disturb your design or the functionality of your space above ground, but still be a cause for concern below ground. Roots can threaten irrigation systems, disrupt the integrity of pavers, or damage underground pipes. In these circumstances, removal may be the only option for eliminating the problem.
Tree Health: Trees are living organisms, and like all living organisms, they can get sick, they can experience decay, and they can die. Here are some signs to look for to see if your tree is in good health or may need to be removed:
· Bald spots: If your tree has patches where the bark is missing, this can be a sign of disease. Called “tree cankers,” these bald spots are often a precursor of the death of the tree.
· Falling or decayed branches: It’s normal for trees to lose branches from time to time, especially after a storm or other inclement weather, but excessive loss of branches can be an indicator of disease. If the fallen branches are also rotted, it’s safe to assume that rot could be in other parts of the tree as well.
· Lack of new growth: When a flowering tree stops budding for more than a season, there’s a good chance it is declining and no longer healthy.
The health of your tree, its functionality in your outdoor space, and its role in the design of your yard or garden are all elements to consider when evaluating whether a tree needs to be removed. If you’re unsure about the quality of your tree’s health or how it might fit into your plans for designing your outdoor space, consult a landscaping professional. As a trusted resource they will help you figure out how to make the most of your space, and when to make the decision to move forward with tree removal.