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Four Signs It’s Time to Break Up with Your Tree

In this article with Associa.com, Davey tells homeowners how to decide when it's time to remove a tree. 

Posted: Feb. 4, 2016

During this month of love, it’s important to know when to call it quits. That’s what gardening is all about—trying something out and learning from your mistakes.

Sometimes you know for sure when it’s time to “break up” with your tree. Other times, you’re not so sure. But when that favorite tree falls ill, it goes from being an asset to a liability.

Identifying a sick tree is easy, says R.J. Laverne, manager of education and training for The Davey Tree Expert Company. He suggests a simple visual inspection to help homeowners determine the right time to replace a sick tree.

“Visually inspecting your tree is a four-part assessment, starting from the ground up,” says Laverne. “If you see a problem at the base, chances are the tree has more significant problems at the top.”

Laverne’s four-part, seasonal inspection is a simple way to catch sick trees before they become a danger.  

Step 1: Get to the root of it. Take notice to what is happening at the base of the tree, says Laverne. “Pay attention to the tree’s roots, looking for soft spots or decay.”

Step 2: Provide support. The collar is where the trunk and roots meet at the soil surface. Laverne says to pull back the grass or ground-cover to check for decay. If bark is missing, falling off, broken, or if there are cracks in the trunk, it’s a sign of developing decay.

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