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Having trees in one’s yard is usually a good thing, but when a tree gets infected or seriously damaged, it may be necessary to remove it. Tree removal is a dangerous activity that should not be undertaken carelessly due to the significant risk of personal harm and property damage. 

While it is possible to securely remove small trees on your own, it is recommended to get the help of a professional for large trees. 

Professional tree removal services have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to safely remove even the largest and most severely dead trees with the least amount of danger.

When Should a Tree Be Removed?

Dying and dead trees still provide shade and shelter for animals; therefore, it is better to leave total removal to trees that are physically unsafe. These are more prone to falling and causing damage to property or injury to people.

However, not all tree defects are created equal. It’s generally accepted that if half of a tree has been injured, it’s a suitable candidate for removal. 

The presence of cracks and other damage that covers more than a quarter of the trunk, as well as damage to more than a quarter of the branches, indicates that the tree should be removed. 

Similarly, a tree that is leaning more than 15 degrees and exhibiting symptoms of root lifting should be removed. Hollow trees can live for many years, but since they are more prone to falling, any tree that has lost more than a third of its heartwood should be cut down and replaced.

Examine the legalities

Before you decide to remove a tree, make sure you are aware of the restrictions in your area. In certain areas, even on private land, it is illegal to remove trees only for aesthetic reasons. 

However, structurally unsound trees and those that are too close to utility or property lines are permitted to be removed in these areas.

If the tree is located in an environmentally sensitive region, such as a slope or floodplain, you may be required to get a permit or written approval in some cases. 

If you employ an arborist, they will conduct the necessary research on your behalf. You may also find out via your local city council or county commissioner’s office.

The Procedure for the Removal of Small Trees

It is possible to remove a tree by yourself if the diameter of the tree is less than about 10 inches, provided that you have the proper equipment. Make sure there is enough room for the tree to fall without colliding with anything that might be destroyed.

Wear protective clothing, such as thick gloves, strong boots, a hard helmet, ear protection, and safety goggles, when working in hazardous conditions. Make use of a chainsaw with a bar that is at least as long as the diameter of the tree. 

Make sure you have a tree-felling wedge on hand in case the tree is particularly tough to pull down. While you are working, ask someone to keep an eye on the tree to warn you of any falling branches or swaying that you might not be aware of.

Begin by shaping the direction you want the tree to fall. If the tree is leaning in one way, it is likely that it will fall in that direction. 

Prepare a few escape routes in case the tree begins to fall in an unexpected manner. When dealing with a tree with a diameter of fewer than 7 inches, one straight cut through the trunk will suffice to bring it down.