Blog / How to Know When It’s Time to Remove a Tree

It’s not always easy to say goodbye to a tree, but it is fairly easy to know when it’s time to remove one. There are some telltale signs when a tree should be taken out for safety reasons, and we’ve identified 10 of those for you below. 

10 Reasons to Remove a Tree

1. Signs of infection or disease

Discolored leaves, soft wood that crumbles easily, fungi, and holes are all signs that a tree may be infected.

2. The presence of widow-makers

Widow-makers are large, dead branches in the crown of the tree that are set to crack away and fall at any minute. Dead branches can be cleared, but if more than half of the branches appear dead, it may be time to just remove the tree entirely. 

3. It’s not growing well

If a tree appears to not be growing well, it may pose a danger by not having a deep enough root system for proper stability. You may be able to transfer the tree to another spot in the yard that receives more water and sunlight. 

4. Signs of root problems

Swelling or “heaving” soil and fungi growing near the base of the tree can indicate root issues, which compromises the stability of the tree. 

5. A blemished trunk

A tree that has cracks, splits, wounds, and stubs on the trunk may be experiencing some internal decay. While a tree with internal decay can continue to live, it will be weakened and susceptible to toppling over. 

6. It’s hollow

A hollowed out tree has had its integrity compromised and should be removed. 

7. It’s leaning

A tree that has always leaned may be safe to leave alone, but a tree that has suddenly started leaning in one direction has probably suffered some structural damage and should be removed. 

8. There are epicormic shoots

Epicormic shoots are small sprouts at the base of a tree that usually indicate it has been stressed and may be unstable. 

9. It’s growing into power lines 

Trees that begin growing up into power lines are dangerous hazards and should be removed immediately. 

10. It’s too close to a house or building

A good rule of thumb is to keep larger trees at least 20 feet away from homes and other structures in case it were to fall down during a severe weather event. 

Get Expert Advice About Your Tree in Raleigh, NC

Still not sure if your tree should be removed? Schedule a free, on-site consultation with the team from Redwood Land Design to gain expert insight about any trees on your property and learn about our tree removal and pruning services.