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How To Know When To Remove a Tree


A dead, diseased or damaged tree can pose lots of risks and so sometimes have to be removed. but how do you know when to do this? Most of the time people think the tree will recover on its own or it will just stay that way forever posing no harm, but these assumptions simply aren’t true. There are always some warning signs when you need a tree removal service so let’s take a look.

Warning Signs Your Tree Needs Removing


Has Your Tree Died?

Knowing a tree is actually dead isn’t always straightforward, many deciduous trees can lay dormant for some time, but luckily there are some simple tests.

Scratch Test: Simply scratch off some of the bark to expose the second layer underneath. If it’s green this is a sign your tree is alive and can possibly be saved.

Snap Test: Take a twig that is at least a year old and bend it to a 90-degree angle. If it breaks its most likely dead.

There are other major signs of a dead tree like deep cracks in the trunk, bark falling off or fungus under the branches. If a tree is still growing or generating new leaves obviously isn’t dead, but trees can still be alive in a dormant state and may be saved with proper treatment so do the checks above.

If your tree is dead then it’s a question of is it a hazard to other trees by way of spreading infection or is it a fall hazard and a danger to life? if so, then you should definitely have it removed.

Hollow Trunk

A hollow tree trunk is a sign of a seriously compromised tree. It may not be dead but it will have lost its structural integrity so it will be a severe risk of falling. Call your local tree removal specialists right away.


If your tree is leaning over about 15 degrees from the vertical when previously it wasn’t then it’s likely to be a fall risk, especially if it’s a mature tree. There are a few reasons for leaning, like a root problem or an infection causing abnormal growth. Sometimes the tree can be propped up using stabilisers whilst the cause is treated but call your arborist to find out.


Fungus inside or out can be fatal if left untreated and other infestations like termites or other pests can mean the tree is again a fall risk and also the infection or pests can spread to other trees. This is another sign to have the tree removed.

Dropping Excessive Debris

If your tree is dropping bark in large trunks, shedding leaves or needles too early or has sap coming from the trunk or branches then this is another sure sign of severe sickness. Again, it can possibly be saved but if left for too long then it will again become a hazard and need to be removed.