How To Determine When You Need To Remove A Tree

See our article on the updated Seattle Tree Protection Ordinance Arborists in Seattle give advice on deciding if your tree needs to be removed and how to save it. The Value Of Your Trees Environmental care and awareness have never been more important in our history than now. Trees represent

See our article on the updated Seattle Tree Protection Ordinance

Arborists in Seattle give advice on deciding if your tree needs to be removed and how to save it.

The Value Of Your Trees

Environmental care and awareness have never been more important in our history than now. Trees represent a huge portion of our environmental wealth. They add beauty to our living spaces, habitat and food for nature’s creatures and value to our properties. Trees also help to regulate temperatures in our homes and our yards. Because of this, it is more important than ever to make educated decisions about the fate of our most precious environmental assets. It is distressing to see a tree that has suffered damage because of the time investment that it represents.

When trying to determine if a tree needs to be removed it is best to seek the help of a local professional with experience in the local flora. Certified arborists can guide you in determining the best options to save your trees or provide professional removal services if required. This guide will help educate the consumer on what an arborist would look at to evaluate your trees.

Reasons Why A Tree Might Need To Be Removed

If you think that you have a tree which may need to be removed you should always contact a local arborist to assist you. The local arborists at Seattle Tree Care are experts in assessing the health and safety of your trees so that you don’t unnecessarily remove a great old tree or leave one in place only to have it damage your home or property. The arborists at Seattle Tree Care are also experts in navigating the complex permitting process with not only the city of Seattle, but most outlying areas as well.

Deciding when you need to call an arborist based on the appearance of your tree can be a challenge too. If you do find yourself looking up at your tree and thinking “Did it always look like that?” or “That doesn’t look right, does it?”, then it is likely time to call your arborist. If you’re concerned about your tree then take a couple of minutes and perform a visual assessment of your trees’ major parts and conditions of concern:

Tree Part

Condition of Concern


Discoloration, Spots, Damage, Insects


Breaks, Hanging limbs, Dead limbs


Cracks, Cavities, Fungus, Excessive sap


Soil uplift, Bulgining soil, Fungus


Nearby construction, Recent damage, Significant site changes

If your tree is showing any of these signs of concern or just not looking quite right to you then it is time to call in your local tree care service. The majority of people who become arborists do so because they truly love trees so don’t be surprised if your arborist suggests alternative treatment options such as pruning or soil amendments before going all the way to removal. If your arborist concludes that your tree is not salvageable or presents a hazard we finally come to the removal phase of your tree’s life. At this point it is important that your arborist has a deep understanding of the rules and regulations of your local municipality which governs tree removals in your area. The best way to protect yourself from costly fines is to contact the tree experts at Seattle Tree Care to ensure that you are in compliance with the local tree protection ordinances.

Possible Alternatives To Removal

It is important to explore all options to save trees. Our professional arborists know that different trees have different environmental and nutritional needs. They can determine if damage to a tree was caused by overwatering, over-fertilizing or improper pruning technique. Often, trees that are not distressed to the point of death can be saved with proper nutrition and growth management. Many species of trees can withstand much more damage than many may think and continue living for many many years. Our expert tree care specialists can help you determine if your beloved tree requires removal of if any hazard can be mitigated through pruning or cabling of your tree.

If a tree is determined to be dead, then it can be trimmed to mitigate any dangers and left standing to serve as a “wildlife snag.” Wildlife snags are important habitat considerations for local species that are threatened by the encroachment of human society. If the tree is fully removed, then it will be replanted with approved local species that will benefit the natural habitat for generations to come.

About Seattle Tree Care

Arborists at Seattle Tree Care can help you assess the condition of your trees and help you file the necessary paperwork to get a tree approved for removal. They offer professional care and pruning services to maximize the health of your trees, the safety of your property and the abundance that nature has to offer. Their expertise is also offered outside the Seattle jurisdiction where permitting may not be necessary.

Peter Gruenwoldt

Peter is the founder and owner of Seattle Tree Care, a Certified Arborist, and third-generation Silviculturist. He's frequently seen on local news channels as the go-to expert in all aspects of tree care operations. + Learn more about Peter

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