Tree cut down by chainsaw

There comes a time when it's best for the look of the garden and, what's more important, for safety's sake, to remove a failing tree. Do everything you can, which could include pruning other trees to allow more light, making sure it is getting the water it needs, the removal of disease or insect predators or, if the leaf color is yellow, perhaps fertilizing If after these actions and given a year or two it has not turned around, then it may be best to remove.

Storm damaged trees, especially split co-dominants should be carefully inspected and perhaps removed to avoid further damage to the surrounding property. Also, conifers that have suffered a broken top, although no longer dangerous, can be unsightly after sustaining so much damage.

Large old trees in bad shape, especially with lots of lost bark and sections of rot in the trunk, are the most dangerous trees, and should be removed before they come crashing down.

Another practical use of tree removal is thinning. Many properties are initially over planted and years later one of the best things for the whole garden could be the judicious removal of a tree or two for the betterment of those that will remain. I would use a criterion of removing the weakest trees, and those most affected by disease and insect problems. This should never be taken on in a hurry. Weigh the pros and cons, and then reweigh them. Once cut they are gone forever.

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