Trees are a great asset to your property—they’re beautiful, they provide shade and they produce oxygen. We often forget, however, that trees are living things, and unfortunately, they can get sick and die. In that case—or in the case that a tree interferes with utility lines, driveways or the structure of your home—the tree may need to be removed. You can remove the tree yourself, but your best bet is to consult with professionals who can remove the tree for you. Here’s how to determine whether your tree needs to be removed and how to do so:
Call an Arborist
Before you decide that the rotted-looking tree in your backyard definitely needs to go, consider calling an arborist. Arborists understand plant health, and they can determine whether a tree needs to be removed or simply pruned. The arborist will look for unnatural leaning or damaged roots. If there is space between the tree and the ground at the base of the tree, it has most likely been damaged—that’s not a sure sign that the tree needs to be removed, but the tree should absolutely be examined. If there are large pieces of bark missing, that is a clear indication that the tree is rotting. Again, a certified arborist will be able to accurately determine whether or not your tree needs to be removed in that case.
Removing the Tree
Once you decide the tree needs to be removed, you can either do it yourself or hire a professional (click here for a blow-by-blow tutorial on DIY tree removal). Once the tree has been cut down, make sure that the leaves, branches and other debris are stored in the proper heavy-duty garbage bags and tossed out. If you cut the tree down yourself rather than employing a professional, you will also need to call a service to take the tree’s remains away.
You may elect to leave the stump to rot away on its own, but if it needs to be removed, this step is best left to the professionals. Homeowners can rent stump-grinding equipment, but these machines are very dangerous and are difficult to operate for those who are untrained. Know that stump removal will probably incur a separate cost from the actual tree removal, and that cost may depend on the size, condition and location of the stump.
Remember: before the tree is removed, either you or the professional removing the tree needs to inform Texas811 so that you don’t damage any utility lines that may run through your property.