It may be necessary to cut down a living tree if it is causing too much trouble. Seeing a residing tree cut down is traumatic, even if it is a deciduous tree in the dead of winter when its leaves have fallen. It is not always wise to do so, though. Some of the many valid justifications for cutting down a living tree are as follows:
- Uproots a fence
A tree with roots that shift an existing wall or fence is the epitome of an unpleasant neighbor. On a property border, where a wall can’t be moved, this is an impossible predicament. Lawsuits have been filed by neighbors whose fences were damaged or destroyed by their neighbor’s tree roots. Tree limbs are another common cause of fence damage, although often, the problem can be solved simply by removing the limb in question. Still, if cutting off the branch will cause the tree’s death, it would be best to get rid of the whole thing.
- Diseased, insect-ridden, or struck by lightning
Damaged or dying trees should be cut down and removed. Delaying a tree’s removal when it’s sick or dying from insects or disease can spread the problem to other branches in the landscape or area.
- Blocks Construction
Sometimes perfectly healthy trees must be cut down in the name of progress. Sometimes people ask us why we can’t “rescue the tree” or move it to a new location. Unfortunately, the stress of being transplanted can be fatal to an established tree.
As an illustration of the adaptability of trees, consider the common occurrence of two differently sized trees planted at the same time, one in a 15-gallon pot and the other in a 24-inch box, both of which have matured to the same height and width after only a few years. After being transplanted, the smaller tree shows greater signs of adaptation and growth than the larger one. Despite the expense, transplanting an older tree often results in the tree’s death.
- Becomes unsafe
When a living tree poses a risk to people or property, it is in everyone’s best interest to have it cut down and removed. In addition to diseases and insects, there is a plethora of other things that can cause a tree to become hazardous. For instance, a tree that has been tragically destroyed by fire or that has partially fallen over as a result of a storm and is starting to lean more than 15 degrees must be removed. That applies to trees that have not naturally grown in this manner. Sometimes lightning will not kill a tree outright, but it will damage it to the point where it will no longer have the resistance it requires against insects. Because its roots were never able to spread out properly, a tree that is rootbound and never grows to its full potential can also pose a hazard in stormy weather.
It may appear harsh to cut down a tree that is, for all intents and purposes, still alive, yet, doing so is frequently the most prudent thing to do to shield the environment and the other trees in the region from additional harm.