The Homeowner’s Guide to Tree Removal In Denver

Tree Removal Denver Fielding Tree & Shrub Care

Treating unhealthy trees starts with knowing when to fight and when to say goodbye.

We get it. You’ve had that cottonwood in your front yard for nearly a decade. It’s become so much a staple of your home that you can’t imagine your front yard without it. But sometimes you have to say goodbye to a favorite tree whether you want to or not.

It’s possible you’re also overwhelmed at the prospect of tree removal. If this is your first time tackling a tree removal, then you’re likely at a loss for what equipment to buy or how to even begin. However, at the same time, you’re wondering how you’re going to afford to have a professional arborist come out and handle it for you.

Take heart in the fact that you’re not alone. Homeowners across Denver have had to ask themselves these same questions, and there are numerous tree services available to help guide you through the process. What’s important is that you recognize when a tree needs to go and do something about it.

Whether you’re planning to involve a professional or remove it yourself, you’ve probably got some essential questions about what you need to know before you begin and how to get the job done, such as:

  • How do I know if my tree needs to be removed?
  • Can my dying or diseased tree be saved?
  • What happens if I don’t cut down my tree?
  • What do I need to know before I begin?
  • Can I remove the tree myself?

Fielding Tree & Shrub Care believes in safety first when it comes to dealing with potentially dangerous machinery and tree removal. In this article, we talk about general tips for identifying trees that need to be removed and removing them. However, every situation is unique, and no article can replace customized advice from an experienced arborist examining your unique situation. Our goal is to get you started considering the right things and asking the right questions.

Does Your Tree Need to be Removed?

There are a variety of reasons why your tree might need to come down. Trees can be dead or dying due to poor watering, disease, and pests. They can also have root systems that are interfering with the foundation of your house or even your water supply.

If your tree might be dead or dying, it’s important that you identify the problem as soon as possible. You might be able to save the tree. In some cases though, you’ll want to remove the tree before it becomes a hazard.

Signs that your tree might be dead or dying:

  • Lack of growth – If your tree isn’t growing leaves when it should, then that could be a sign that it’s dead or dying. In some cases, trees might grow leaves on some branches but not others. The empty branches are dead, and the tree could be conserving its resources and making itself smaller due to a lack of nourishment.
  • Deadwood – This is literally what it sounds like. Deadwood refers to dead branches that fall from the tree and litter your yard – another sign that the tree is conserving resources.  
  • Leaning – Dead or dying trees may be more susceptible to strong winds or root damage, both of which can cause trees to lean.
  • Cracks or splits – Splits in the tree trunk signify that a tree may be about to fall.

Signs that your tree may be diseased:

  • Fungi – Are mushrooms sprouting up overnight at the base of your tree? The sudden appearance of mushrooms and other fungi could indicate decay caused by disease, especially if they keep coming back with a vengeance.
  • Cavities – Another sign of decay, deep cavities in the tree trunk can occur when wood has rotted away.
  • Cankers – These clumps or patches of dead bark indicate bacterial or fungal infection.

Even if your tree is otherwise healthy, it could be causing problems for your home. Tree roots can be aggressive and are far more widespread than you might realize. In fact, a tree’s roots could grow outward up to three times the width of the tree’s foliage – give or take. These roots can damage water pipes, especially older ones, by penetrating them. When this happens, the affected home could have serious plumbing issues.

Aggressive tree roots are also a problem for foundations. These roots can grow into or under your foundation, pushing it out of place and making your house less stable over time. It’s worth noting here that changes in roots and soil can also affect your foundation. Therefore, removing a tree that’s interfered with your foundation, thus causing the root system to die and the moisture levels in the soil to change, can also cause problems. However, it’s still generally recommended that you get rid of any tree that’s interfering with your foundation before the problem gets worse.

Tree Removal Denver Fielding Tree & Shrub CareCan Your Tree Be Saved?

That really comes down to the problem and how extensive it is. If you want to save your tree, then get it properly diagnosed by an arborist. Time may be of the essence, so wasting time fixing the wrong problem could mean the difference between tree life and tree death.

If your tree is dying due to a lack of nourishment, start by changing how you water it. Is it getting too much water or too little? An Fielding Tree certified arborist can help you figure out what your specific breed of tree requires. You can also try adding mulch to nourish the soil and roots around the tree. Dig up the soil around the tree and apply the mulch with a rake. This will bring the mulch in contact with the roots. Don’t add too much or the tree won’t be able to breath. About an inch to an inch and a half should do it.

If your tree has a disease, then treating it may get a little more complicated. You can try pruning away diseased portions of the tree to keep it from spreading. However, how you prune could depend on the type of disease, so you’ll want an accurate diagnosis. Some arborists also recommend aerating the soil around the root system and exposing more of the root system to help the tree get more nourishment.

What Happens If You Don’t Do Anything to a Dying Tree?

Does all of this sound too overwhelming to deal with? You might be tempted to ignore the problem, hoping that your tree isn’t that bad off or that any disease will resolve itself. The fact is, you can’t. Dead, dying, and diseased trees are hazardous.

Remember that dying trees may lean alarmingly or lose deadwood branches on the ground. Now imagine that one of those branches or the entire tree hits your car, your roof, or you. If you think having a tree removed sounds expensive, that’s nothing to the potential property damage, hospital bills, or lawsuit that a fallen tree could bring.

Dying trees can also attract pests that you definitely don’t want around. Termites and carpenter ants will eventually find their way from your dying tree to healthy trees in your yard and even your house. Along these same lines, tree diseases can also spread.

Put simply, a dying tree is dangerous and damaging. If you’ve been trying to save your tree to no avail, then it might be time to say goodbye. An arborist can help you know when a tree is beyond saving or otherwise too dangerous to hang onto.

Getting Started with Tree Removal: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re planning to tackle the tree yourself or call an expert, there are a few things you need to figure out first unless you want to cause serious problems in your home or get slapped with a fine.

Do you need a permit? This mainly depends on where you live. In Colorado, you need a permit if you plan to remove a street tree or a tree on your property that may be interfering with a sidewalk or street. However, some places require people to have permits to remove trees even if those trees are completely on their property. Permits can also be subject to type of tree, size of tree, proximity to a body of water, and more. Check with your city hall to find out if you need a permit.

How close is the tree to obstructions? Are you cutting down a tree on a large lot or one that’s close to a building? Is there a fence that could impede equipment or get in the way if the tree falls? The type of access you have to the tree will dictate what kind of equipment you’ll need and how dangerous it’ll be to remove on your own.

What can you afford? If you think cutting down the tree yourself will save you money, then think again. True, professional tree removal could cost you anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand. However, cutting down a tree properly will cost you money in renting or buying equipment like cranes, bucket trucks, chainsaws, rigging, and more.

Why You Should Hire Professional Arborists for Tree Removal

There may be the rare person with access to serious equipment who is looking to fell a medium sized tree on a large lot. If you’ve got the right gear and the space to tackle a tree, then maybe you can get this done with some guidance. However, the majority of people reading this post are likely homeowners with a single troubling tree in their yard.

Bringing down a tree is no small feat. If the tree is near buildings, cars, or a street, then it will need to be taken down in pieces. In other words, it won’t do to take an axe to it, yell timber, and run out of the way. You need to get into the tree and start hacking off pieces. This requires equipment and can present a safety risk, as a dead tree is not likely to have reliable load-bearing branches.

Felling a tree presents its own risks. Tree fall is difficult to control. At best, you could do some serious damage to your yard or garden. At worst, you could inadvertently bring the tree down on your car or home. When considering how much you can afford for tree removal, factor in potential damages.

Don’t put your safety, home, and wallet at risk. Fielding Tree & Shrub Care can diagnose and safely, efficiently, and affordably remove troublesome trees. Schedule a free onsite estimate with our team today.