Hazardous Tree Removal

If a tree is dead, dying and dangerous or is in the way of new construction, then tree removal may be necessary let our certified arborist help you make an educated decision.

How To Recognize Hazardous Defects in Trees That May Call For Removal

Hazardous defects are visible signs that the tree is failing. We recognize four main types of tree defects that may call for tree removal: cracks, decay, cankers, root problems. A tree with defects is not hazardous, however , unless some portion of it is within striking distance of a target then tree removal needs to be weighed out based upon the possible target.


A crack is a deep split through the bark, extending into the wood of the tree. Cracks are extremely dangerous because they indicate that the tree is already failing.

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If the crack is present on a limb and will not remove more than a third of the canopy then trimming will be the best option.


Decaying trees can be prone to failure, but the presence of decay, by itself, does not indicate that the tree is hazardous. Advanced decay, wood that is soft, punky, or crumbly, or a cavity where the wood is missing can create a serious hazard tree removal may be necessary. Evidence of fungal activity including mushrooms, conks, and brackets growing on root flares, stems, or branches are indicators of advanced decay.

A tree usually decays from the inside out, eventually forming a cavity, but sound wood is also added to the outside of the tree as it grows. Trees with sound outer wood shells may be relatively safe, but this depends upon the ratio of sound to decayed wood, and other defects that might be present. Evaluating the safety of a decaying tree is usually best left to trained arborists.

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A tree canker is a localized area on the stem or branch of a tree, where the bark is sunken or missing. Cankers are caused by wounding or disease. The presence of a canker increases the chance of the stem breaking near the canker. A tree with a canker that encompasses more than half of the trees circumference may be hazardous even if exposed wood appears sound.

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Root Problems

Trees with root problems may blow over in wind storms. They may even fall without warning in summer when burdened with the weight of the trees leaves. There are many kinds of root problems to consider for example severing or paving-over roots, raising or lowering the soil grade near the tree; parking or driving vehicles over the roots; or extensive root decay.

Soil mounding, twig dieback, dead wood in the crown, and off-color or smaller than normal leaves are symptoms often associated with root problems. Because most defective roots are underground and out of sight, aboveground symptoms may serve as the best warning.

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