Trees are amazing organisms. They provide oxygen, they provide shade, and they help make a property look better and more appealing. Unfortunately, they’re living organisms, which means they suffer from disease, and even death. When a tree is alive, when it’s growing strong and is structurally sound, then it’s a great asset to a property.

Unfortunately, when a tree is beginning to decay and die, they become a liability. This is because a tree that’s beginning to rot and decay is going to start falling apart. At best, this can damage the ground, dispersing disease and rot into the dirt and making it difficult for other plants to grow. At worst, a falling branch could do massive damage to a person’s property, anything from crushing a car to doing damage to a home. But how do you know if it’s time to remove a tree? How can you tell if a tree is starting to show signs of rot and decay?

One of the first things you can look for is the ground around the tree. You might see some signs of root decay, such as parts of the ground pressing up, or mushrooms and other fungi beginning to grow. These are signs that something in the roots may be weakening and decaying, which would be a sign that a tree needs to be removed.

The next thing you can look at is the root collar, or the base of the tree. Here, you can look for signs of rot and decay such as bark falling off, or cracks or breaks in the tree itself. These are generally signs that there is some amount of decay. The more bark that falls off, the more cracks you find in the tree, the worse and deeper the decay and rot has managed to set in.

The next place to look would be the trunk of the tree. One of the warning signs of rot and decay is if you see the trunk swelling. Of course, it can be difficult to judge the exact amount of rot that can rest in a trunk, which means that the workers might need to get some special equipment out to the job site. Luckily, they do have equipment specifically designed to probe the tree and judge the exact amount of rot and decay that may be resting inside of the trunk.

The last place to check for rot and decay would be in the branches, or the tree crown. Often times, you can see evidence of rot and decay by seeing how many dead branches there are. If there are no small, fine twigs that indicate new growth, if many of the branches have bark that’s fallen off, these are all signs of rot and decay.

Removing a tree from your property is never an easy decision. That tree has no doubt provided years of service to your lawn and your family. Yet the simple truth is that if a tree isn’t removed at the right time, it can cause far more damage than it’s worth. You owe it to yourself and your property to ensure that a tree is removed when it’s appropriate.