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Don’t know when to remove a tree? Listen to the experts.

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Dead palm tree
Tree removal
Trav's Tree Services
Trav's Tree Services
January 22, 2024
minute read

Protect yourself from dying trees and dead branches

Not to be too dramatic about it, but a collapsing tree — even just a falling branch — can wreak havoc on nearby buildings. Let’s not think about what they can do to a person.

The thing is, it’s not too difficult to tell when a tree needs to be removed. The trick is to know how to spot the warning signs and to act decisively when the time comes to get the job done. The sooner you act, the safer you’ll be.

We’re going to teach you when to consider cutting a tree down. Always remember that if you do decide your tree needs to come down, or even if it just needs a branch pruned off, you must not do it yourself. That way lies disaster. 

Leave it to Trav’s tree removal service. Our qualified arborists will assess your tree, and our veteran tree surgeons will bring it down safely and efficiently.

11 signs you need to remove a tree on your property

1. It’s a dead tree

The dead tree poses a significant risk to you, your property and anyone around it. Without the vitality to grow, health and fortify itself, all that’s left to do is rot and collapse.

Dead trees are usually quite easy to identify. Their foliage will brown and fall quickly and out of season, and they will not grow new foliage or fruit. Their bark will also begin to peel off of the branches and trunk. You may also begin to notice signs of decay, disease and pest infestation; we’ll discuss these signs in a moment.

2. The tree is decaying

Decay doesn’t necessarily signal that the entire tree is dead. Depending on the situation, only certain branches or sections of the tree may have died and begun to decay. Either way, rot spreads quickly, and a decaying tree is an imminent risk, liable to topple over or drop its branches at any moment.

Signs of tree decay include:

  • Noticeable cracks across the trunk, especially vertical ones
  • Cracks across the branches
  • Significant peeling of the bark
  • Loose branches, or branches that have already fallen
  • Bracket fungi growing on the tree’s trunk and branches

3. The tree is diseased

Trees catch diseases just like we do, and they’ll show clear physical signs that they’ve been infected even if it’s not immediately clear what they’ve been infected with.

Signs of a diseased tree include:

  • Depressions in the trunk and branches
  • Ugly-looking tree wounds
  • Rapidly dying leaves
  • Tree cankers (ugly mottled lumps on the wood)

4. The tree is infested

All trees are prone to insect infestation, but it’s particularly tragic when it happens to a fruit-bearer. 

While many insect species seek living trees to colonise, some seek out the dead and the dying. While you may be able to kill off the pesky parasites and rescue your tree — keep an eye on it. You might find it’s taken too much invisible damage to live on.

Signs of insect infestation include:

  • Visible insects and larvae
  • Burrowing holes pockmarking the surface
  • Gum and sap oozing out of the branches
  • A buildup of fine sawdust on the bark
  • Zigzagging marks in the wood, which indicate a burrowing path beneath the surface
  • Eaten leaves

5. The tree’s hollow

Hollow trees are in high demand within the animal kingdom’s property market. Nesting birds, bees and sundry other native animals adore the safety and security of a high-up hollow. 

But a hollow tree is a weakened tree. While it may not necessarily be an imminent danger, you should contact a qualified arborist to assess its integrity.

6. The tree is leaning

Every tree has a unique posture, and many are loved because they lean, curve and bend in beautiful ways. While a lean can simply be a natural expression of the tree’s growth, in some instances it can signal structural failure. 

Leaning trees, even when they’re healthy, are liable to topple if given enough of a push during inclement weather. And Melbourne, as you know, loves a sudden storm.

If you can see a leaning tree’s root plate lifting out of the ground, consider it an emergency. You need to have it assessed as soon as possible.

7. The tree is a lightning rod

This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Lightening is attracted to the high points, and large trees make for excellent conductors.

8. The tree is storm-damaged

Unfortunately, lightning isn’t a tree's only threat during a storm. Strong winds can shatter large branches, sending them careening into nearby homes, businesses or power lines. They can even rip healthy trees right out of the ground.

9. The tree has a rotten crotch

It’s a horrible image, and we apologise profusely. Even though we’re giggling.

A tree crotch is the V-shaped connection between branches. We did not give it that name. Tree crotches can be a structural weak point, but if they get infected or begin to rot, or if the tightness of the gap is abrading the bark,  the threat of falling tree limbs skyrockets. 

10. The tree is growing into your property

Trees are often planted in backyards for fruit and shade. Unfortunately, those who plant the trees don’t always consider the final size and placement of the tree and how that might impact their property.

Growing trees can damage building gutters, push through decks and weaken foundations. If you’ve got a large tree growing right next to your building, we strongly recommend you request a professional arborist assess it, even if it isn’t showing signs of damage yet. It’s always better to prevent a catastrophe than to clean one up.

11. The tree is crowding out other flora

Thriving, healthy trees can be just as much of a pain as decaying, hazardous trees with dead branch stubs.

A large and growing tree can hog the nutrients in the soil of a crowded patch of earth. Not only will it deprive nearby trees, bushes, and flowers of their essentials, but its root system can choke other roots, too. The result is one healthy tree surrounded by several rapidly dying ones.

What now? Seek efficient tree removal services.

This might come as an absolute shock to you, but we happen to offer an extremely efficient tree removal service. Our same-day service includes an on-site assessment, safe tree removal, and site cleanup. And we’ll offer a pretty competitive price, too.

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