In this article, I’ll be looking at 6 signs that tell you a tree needs to be cut down.

We all know how beautiful trees are and how helpful they are to the Earth’s ecosystem, however, there comes a time when they just have to go. Knowing when to cut down a tree is very important, as it could save lives and property.

Read on!

How to Know When To Cut Down A Tree

  1. Trees With Branches Hanging Over Your House Or Leaning Trunks

It is very dangerous to have overhanging tree branches, especially if they are long, thick branches.

Such branches pose a threat to both life and property.

In the case of a storm or heavy winds, those large branches might break off and fall on your roof. Roof repairs will cost you a decent amount of money and I’m sure you’d like to avoid the unnecessary expenses.

Besides roof repair costs, falling tree branches can also injure or kill a person if it falls directly on them.

If it’s a small branch, then cutting the tree down may not be the best option, you can simply cut the branches off. On the other hand, if the branches are very large and have extended too far across the top of the house, then the tree just has to go.

In a case where the upper part of the trunk leans towards the building, then the tree has to go as well.

Tree removal costs between $75 and $100, that is way cheaper compared to the damages the tree will cause if it is not removed.

  1. Diseased Tree

A diseased tree poses potential dangers to the residents of a home.

An infected tree is weak and it can fall at any time. This would be a total disaster for the residents so it’s best to take action as soon as you notice the tree is diseased.

There are a good number of signs that will tell you that your tree is diseased. These include –

  • Discolored leaves (mostly faded yellow)
  • Weak branches that break or fall off
  • Rotten roots
  • Tree with holes
  • Rotting trunks and branches

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to call the attention of a tree specialist to determine which action is best to take.

If the tree can be treated then it’s fine. If not, you have to cut the tree down, just so property damage, injury, and even death is avoided.

  1. Fungus Growth Around The Tree

Fungus around the tree is a major indicator that the tree is infected and is being weakened. It also shows that the tree is gradually rotting.

An occurrence of mushrooms around the base of the tree or on the trunk is a common characteristic of fungus growth.

If left alone, the fungus will continue to damage all parts of the tree, including the roots. It will get to a point where the roots will no longer be able to support the tree and sooner or later, the tree will collapse.

To stop this from happening, you should cut down the tree as soon as you can.

  1. The Tree Is Infested With Pests

Your tree can serve as a home and a source of food for birds and other small friendly creatures. However, it could also serve as a home to rodents, snakes, and destructive insects.

These pests can play the role of unwanted visitors and cause extensive damage to your home. Animals like snakes and scorpions are dangerous to humans, so you need to take action quickly.

If there is no way to rid the tree of the pests, then you will be left with no choice than to cut it down.

  1. Invasive Roots

There is nothing in your yard that can slowly destroy your building’s structure like invasive roots.

Invasive roots are known to grow horizontally, they creep into the ground in search of moisture and their major targets are pipes, sewers, and any other form of drainage.

GUIDE: Cutting A Tree Root

These roots don’t care, they will slowly but surely cause damages to any structure they come across. They can break or clog drainage pipes, and they can leave cracks in your building.

This is too much of a problem and it isn’t worth keeping the tree if it has become so destructive.

To save your structure, you have to cut the tree down.

  1. The Climate Isn’t Right For Your Tree

There are different species of trees and they have climates where they thrive effortlessly.

Some are suited for cold regions while others are made for tropical regions.

You may have planted a tree that can’t adapt to the temperatures in your region. If this is the case then the tree is as good as dead. They will experience stunted growth, and they will not look healthy.

You have to take such a tree down and plant a tree that will thrive in your region’s climate.

Should Dead Trees Be Cut Down?

Some people assume that dead trees are harmless, after all, the branches or roots can no longer encroach into the building or drainage. That may be true, but root encroachment isn’t the only thing that makes a tree dangerous.

Dead trees can serve as hiding spots for animals as dangerous as snakes or scorpions. Having such animals living in your yard is far from being a good idea.

A dead tree is also weakened, from the root up to the branches. They have become brittle and they can break at any time, causing damage to property.

Speaking of property, dead trees add zero value to your property, it devalues it. A dead tree is an eyesore and a turn-off for visitors and potential buyers (if the property is for sale or rent).

There is no benefit of keeping a dead tree standing.

With that being said, the answer to the question –should dead trees be cut down, is a big YES!

How Long Can A Dead Tree Remain Standing?

This depends on a variety of factors. Some of them include –

  • The tree species
  • The size of the tree
  • The soil type
  • The occurrence of heavy storms or wind
  • Human or animal activity around the tree

The above-mentioned factors are major determinants of how long a dead tree can remain standing.

Generally speaking, it should take between 1 to 5 years for a dead tree to lean or fall.

What Time Of Year Should Trees Be Cut Down?

This depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

If you want to cut parts of the tree without killing it, then the dormant season is the best time for this.

However, if the tree is infested, or the branches and trunk are rotting, and it poses a serious threat to lives and property, then it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is. The tree has to be cut down as soon as possible.

You can consult with a tree expert to come over and assess the situation.

Are Dead Trees Dangerous?

This is a question people ask a lot, and the answer remains the same. Yes, dead trees are dangerous. They become more dangerous over time.

Live trees are moist and flexible while dead trees are dry and brittle. It will only take time for the branches to start breaking off and falling.

The longer you wait to cut down a dead tree, the more danger you put yourself and your property.

It is not a matter of “if” the tree or the branches will fall, it is a matter of “when” they will fall.

If you can’t remove the dead tree yourself, then you need to hire the services of a professional. This will cost you some money though.

A large tree will cost more money to cut down than a small tree.

If the tree in question is large and you don’t have the funds to remove it outright, then you can cut off the dangerous parts of the tree, like hanging branches.

You can also cut it down to a level where the threat to lives and property will be significantly reduced.

Signs That A Tree Is Dead

Certain signs tell you a tree is dead. You may not notice them immediately but they are there. You just need to pay attention to.

Below are some of those signs.

  1. Bare Branches

When you notice that the branches of your tree are becoming bare, then you can tell it is dead or dying.

Trees are usually dormant during the winter, and branches become bare at this time, so check for bare Branches during the spring.

  1. Trunk Damage

Cracks in the bark of the trunk are also signs that the tree is dead. Especially when you can see clear patches that expose the wood-like part of the trunk.

  1. Root Damage

If you notice your tree leaning extensively, then it means the root has been weakened or is dead.


Was this article helpful? I trust it was.

Knowing when to cut down a tree is important, for the sake of both lives and property.

Take care.

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