The Pros and Cons of Cutting Down a Tree

Is there a mature tree in your yard that you think should come down? Here’s what you need to know before you pay big money to have it removed.  

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Expensive Endeavor

Cutting down a tree can be very expensive. It is estimated at $1,000 to $3,000 per mature tree in many areas of the country.  This fact alone prevents many people from having it done. 

The width and height of the tree can add to the basic cost.  Furthermore, obstacles such as roofs and other trees can increase the difficulty level and drive up the cost even more.

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Dangerous DIY Project

As a do-it-yourself project, it is very dangerous.  Yard projects often bring risks, but the risks here are very steep.  Performed at great heights, this job requires a chainsaw and ladders. Then there’s the heavy branches and trunk that take on destructive powers as they fall. What could go wrong? A lot!  

Environmental Considerations

Putting aside cost and danger, is it necessary?  Cutting down a tree can remove shade that keeps a person’s electric bill lower in the summer. The tree roots may be vital to catching water runoff. It may be the glue that is holding a hillside together. Furthermore, accessing the tree may destroy the plants surrounding it.

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Aesthetic Considerations

Another thing to consider is how your house will look if the tree is removed.  A mature tree takes forever to grow.  Even the fastest growing trees won’t reach maturity for decades.  Once that tree is gone, it 

Necessary Removal

Of course, there are times that removing a tree is truly necessary. A common problem is a tree that is dying from within. You can often tell by the number of dead branches. The trunk looks sound, but a tree expert can tell you that the trunk’s interior is wasting away.  The tree will eventually fall.

In another instance, the tree roots may be growing under the house and threatening the foundation. Roots may be busting up the driveway, sidewalk or road. In these cases, removing the tree is the only way to stop the roots from their destructive habits. 

Of course, the tree may threaten the roof, becoming an especially big danger in a storm situation.  Even if the tree is further away, its heavy branches may be a danger to the house or power lines.  In another example, a tree may be dead or dying from the parasitic nature of heavy vines.  For all of these reasons you may decide to hire someone to remove it.

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What You Should Know

When you hire someone to remove a tree, be aware of these things. First, if this is about the health of the tree, seek an independent answer. Many tree cutting services may not have the expertise or the incentive to tell you that the tree can be saved.  

Second, find out how the tree cutters will protect the environment and plantings around the tree. There are composite mats that can be put in place to create an access road for their trucks, for instance. You will want to get reassurances that their vehicles and equipment will be careful around your expensive plantings.  

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Finally, you’ll want to know how they will accomplish the job safely.  If it is near the house, you’ll want assurances that they can keep the heavy wood from falling on the roof or sides of the house.

As you weigh the pros and cons, consider the expense of removal versus the value of keeping the tree. Then make sure to ask plenty of questions if you decide to contract with a service to take the tree down.

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