Almost every tree contributes to the property that it is on, and in most cases, it is better to leave the tree than to take it out. However, the older trees get or the larger they get, the more risks they pose to your property and your family, especially in winter when ice, snow, and storms often bring them down. If a tree is super old, dying, dead, or otherwise unsafe, tree removal is a much better option than letting it be. Here are some signs to look for in your trees to tell if you should at least consult with a certified arborist about whether they need to be removed.

Look For A Lean

Some trees naturally lean, so if you’re sure that this tree has always leaned like that, it is probably okay. If you’re not sure, or if you are confident this is a new lean, you need to consult an arborist. A new lean could be a sign that the whole tree is dead or dying. To assess if the tree is leaning, find a place on your property where you can clearly see the whole tree. You could even take pictures of it over time to compare them.

Check The Base

Next, you will examine the dirt at the base of the tree. Look for any signs of damaged or decaying roots. This would be a sign of a sick tree and could point to its structural instability and a possible need to remove it. Next check for a gap between the trunk and the soil. This could be a sign that the tree has developed a lean that you didn’t notice earlier. Finally, inspect the trunk. If you see any cracks or cavities, rotten parts, or wood debris and “sawdust” at the base of the tree, this could be a sign of insect activity. Call in an arborist to assess the state of the tree.

Inspect The Canopy

A canopy inspection should be done by a certified arborist since it requires going up in the tree limbs. This is the best way to find dead and dying branches, which could be hidden by the fully leafed-out, live branches. A branch with missing bark or dead leaves on an otherwise healthy tree is a sign of an issue that needs to be checked out.