Growing and Maintaining Healthy Trees

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Separating the Fact From Fiction When It Comes to Tree Removal

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Even though mature trees can add value to your property and make your outdoor space look more inviting, and provide needed shade for your home and lawn, there are times when such a tree simply needs to be removed. This is typically true if the tree is decaying, infested with termites, or outright dead and beyond any restoring. If you're thinking of having a tree removed on your property, note a few common questions and misconceptions about this process, and then discuss the option with a tree removal expert as needed.

Pruning the tree

You may assume that you just need to prune a tree to bring it back to health, but this isn't always accurate. For instance, if a tree is infested with termites, lopping off certain branches may not remove that infestation, and there may be extensive damage to the tree's interior that pruning simply won't address. A tree may also be non-native, so that it won't grow on your property no matter what you do, and pruning branches won't stop it from withering again. An arborist can tell you if a tree is salvageable, but if he or she says that it's beyond restoring, it's best to have it removed.


When you have a tree removed, you may want to have the old wood grinded so that you can use it as mulch, or ensure it gets reused somehow rather than wasted. This is not always possible or advisable; grinding the wood may not remove a termite infestation, which could then spread to your home. Decayed or dead wood also isn't a good mulch and may not provide much nourishment for the ground. If you're worried about the environment when it comes to having a tree removed, ask a removal service about your options, but note that in some cases, it's best to have the wood destroyed and not reused.

Trees and your soil

Trees do keep the soil on your property healthy, as they hold moisture at their roots and provide shade, as mentioned. You may then assume that removing a tree would be bad for your property's soil, but consider that removing a tree is sometimes better for the property overall. For example, a termite infestation can travel to another tree or to shrubbery, and a decaying tree can mean that it's actually holding too much moisture in the soil. Your removalist can note if you should do something to protect the property's soil after having the tree removed, if needed.