Posted by Bruce Borden in Home Maintenance

A tree close to your home can provide benefits like shade and curb appeal, but it can also bring a number of safety concerns for your home and property (as well as your neighbors’).

Find out what common occurrences require tree removal to avoid any damage and costly repairs.

Arborist Cutting Off Tree Branch

4 Characteristics of a Tree That Needs to Be Removed

We asked landscaping and tree experts for their insight on common warning signs of damaged, diseased, or otherwise precarious trees around a home.

As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to be well-informed and take action when a tree on your property becomes a liability. Don’t wait until a storm comes through—be proactive!

Enlist a trusted arborist to remove your tree if you observe any of these conditions:

  1. Your Tree Has Shallow Rooting Prone to Falling in Strong Winds
  2. Your Tree Has Root Damage
  3. Your Tree Has Trunk Rot
  4. Your Tree’s Branches Are Touching or Rubbing Against Your Home’s Exterior
Streetscape of Homes With Trees Behind

Your Tree Has Shallow Rooting Prone to Falling in Strong Winds

“One of the many reasons to take down a tree close to your home is if it's a shallow rooting variety that is prone to falling in strong winds,” shares Dan Morris of Fire and Saw, a family-owned company specializing in chainsaws and tree removal.

Tree With Roots Growing Into Yard

“For example, spruce trees are known to come down in high winds. If you have a spruce that is overhanging or in falling distance of your house, it would be a good idea to prune or cut it down altogether,” Morris continues. “Gum trees are another variety that has very shallow root systems and can be knocked over in a storm.”

Fallen Tree Branch

Your Tree Has Root Damage

Quite literally the root cause, many tree health issues stem from a damaged root system.

Morris explains, “Tree roots can be damaged in order to put in a driveway, for example. If they are damaged on one side it can make the tree vulnerable to falling in the other direction in strong winds.”

It’s key to bring in an arborist to address a tree root issue, as they’ll have the proper removal equipment.

Your Tree Has Trunk Rot

This sign will be much more obvious, as the trunk will look quite abnormal and sickly.

Tree Trunk With Rot

A rotting tree is weakened and could fall at any moment. Check your property’s trees often and call this in immediately if you notice signs of rot.

Your Tree’s Branches Are Touching or Rubbing Against Your Home’s Exterior

You might hear trees bumping against or scraping your home from the inside, or you may not notice this is occurring until arriving home during a windy day or major storm, but Jeremy Yamaguchi of Lawn Love urges homeowners to recognize this as a surefire signal to consult a tree professional.

“If you notice that a tree's branches are touching or rubbing against the house or structure, it's definitely time to remove the tree,” Yamaguchi says.

Even if your tree doesn’t end up needing to be fully removed but rather only trimmed back, it’s still best to consult the experts. “Branches can cause damage to the roof, siding, or gutters and end up costing you a whole lot more than the cost of simply removing the tree,” adds Yamaguchi.

Neighborhood With Trees Behind Homes

Should I Always Call an Expert, Or Can I Remove a Tree Myself?

Think about the headaches that could ensue if you try to take on a tree removal project by yourself: you may not really know what you’re getting yourself into; a tree could fall the wrong way, causing additional damage; or you could even risk injury in the process.

We asked Dan Morris for his thoughts on the best route to take to get a tree removed:

“In my opinion, unless you are highly experienced with using a chainsaw and felling trees, you should always hire a professional. Accidents happen so quickly and easily that it's not worth risking your life.”

In addition to trees growing and becoming damaged over time, other factors like storms can be a huge driver of tree damage. Read further tips about what to check your home for after a storm.


Bruce Borden


Bruce has been with M/I Homes for over 20 years, has been the National Customer Experience Manager for over 10 years, and has been in the home building industry for over 30 years. Happily married and a proud father, Bruce enjoys outdoor activities and home improvement projects, and has never met someone he didn't like.

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