When should you have a tree removed?

Generally speaking, having trees on your property is a real asset. Trees provide something beautiful to look at while encouraging bio-diversity, increasing air quality and offering numerous other health benefits. In addition to removing a tree due to poor positioning or conflict with a construction project, there are also situations when trees become unsafe, threatening people’s lives or risking damage to buildings, structures or property.

There are some key things to look out for, which we will discuss below, but if you believe your tree is dangerous, it’s essential to get it assessed by an insured and qualified professional ASAP. If you’re aware of a hazardous tree and don’t take action, you may be liable for any damage it causes.

Guildford Tree Surgeons have had all the relevant training required to survey your trees and write a detailed report suggesting the next best steps. Our tree surveying experts have excellent arboricultural knowledge, and for total peace of mind, we hold a comprehensive professional indemnity policy.

If you have a tree or trees you’d like us to look at, contact the team today, we’re always happy to help.

A Guildford Tree Surgeons arborist felling a dangerous tree

What are the things to look out for which would indicate you should remove a tree?

Firstly, we should address the problem that most people know of, yet it is likely the most difficult to identify, and that issue is subsidence. Subsidence can happen when a tree’s roots remove too much moisture from the surrounding soil, causing it to shrink and, therefore, fail to support structures built upon weak foundations. Please note that subsidence caused by soil shrinkage is only likely to occur during long, dry spells, where the soil has lost most of its moisture before the tree can take enough to cause it to shrink. Shrinkage is most prevalent in clay soil types, so if you’re aware the soil topography in your area is clay, then the risk of subsidence is undoubtedly something to consider.

The easiest way to identify subsidence is by closely monitoring your home or other structures for cracks, movement or other anomalies. Suppose you have a tree nearby that may be causing the issue. In that case, we’d suggest contacting a trained professional to come and formally look for subsidence before the situation progresses. If the tree is the cause of the subsidence, you will have to consider removing it before it leads to more damage. Tree roots can harm your property in other ways; for instance, they can grow into drains, creating blockages, damage and causing them to burst. Old drainage systems are more prone to this issue as they often leak, attracting the tree roots.

Secondly, there is the physical damage your tree could cause should a limb or the main stem should fail. Snapped branches and collapsing trunks can occur for many reasons, but the most common cause is by combining an old tree with a storm or high winds. Like humans, older trees are far less flexible than younger ones, so their structures are more likely to fail in violent weather. With that in mind, if you have an old tree close to your property, it’s vital to carry out routine maintenance, and if deemed necessary, you may want to consider its removal.

In addition to the tree’s age, you should be aware of signs of disease and decay. Some diseases are more visible than others; for example, Ganoderma presents itself by forming large brackets outside the tree, whereas others are internal, making them more challenging to identify. Fungi and bacteria can eat away at your tree, reducing the flexibility of even younger trees. If your tree shows signs of decay, disease or dieback, then time is of the essence. You should contact a qualified tree surveyor to provide an assessment, and they may suggest you remove the tree to prevent any damage or the spread of disease to surrounding trees.

For information regarding Guildford Tree Surgeons’ tree felling and removal services, please visit our dedicated tree felling page or contact the team today to discuss your requirements.  01483 910361