What are your goals for both the tree and your yard? It can be helpful to prioritize your goals. For example, if you have a tree next to your home that causes safety concerns but you really love how it looks and the shade it provides, you can rank your priorities like this:

  • Safety
  • Shade
  • Appearance

You can even get more specific regarding what exactly you like about the tree’s appearance or what your top safety concerns are. If yours is a rental property, you might have completely different goals, such as reducing maintenance and liability worries.

If you simply have a tree that you don’t like, it’s also important to think about why you dislike the tree. For example, does it drop too much sap in the summertime, making your deck a sticky, unusable mess? Even in a case like that, there are alternatives. For example, rather than spending several thousand dollars removing the tree, property owners might consider a several-hundred-dollar treatment to prevent aphids, which are often the actual culprits in sap production. (Aphids feed on sap and secrete “bug poo, aka honeydew.”)

What are your options? Be super clear with your arborist about your goals so that they can help you achieve them and/or suggest other options. For example, it may be better to prune a tree rather than remove it. Of course, it’s possible that the opposite is the best course of action: a property owner may want to prune a tree that should actually be removed. If the customer’s goal is to eliminate branches overhanging the house, reduce the height of the tree, or stop a tree from uplifting concrete, there are many cases where the only true answer to those problems is tree removal.

We don’t necessarily like to cut down healthy trees, but trees are renewable; they can be replanted. In many cases, it’s better to remove a tree and start over with the right tree in the right location. Plus, delaying the inevitable can increase the cost of tree removal.

In any case, you can ask questions and get answers by contacting a certified arborist for options!

3. What does the law say? The ultimate decision to remove a tree may not be up to you — even if it’s on your property. In many cases, the final word is provided by the city via a tree removal permit process.

For example, our hometown, has an urban tree canopy that is among the country’s most admired. Cities are active and often aggressive in monitoring the tree canopy, and unpermitted tree removals can incur fines in the thousands of dollars.

What happens to the removed tree? We work hard to provide tree services in the area, that work best for our clients, the community, and the environment. Every part of the removed tree is recycled and/or reused. The wood is either milled into lumber or used as firewood, and wood chips can be used as mulch to help fight invasive plants and to rebuild native habitats. UFP donates most of this material to nonprofits and various municipalities.