How To Decide If You Should Trim Or Remove A Tree

Trees often have health or practical issues that call for removal or trimming. Each approach has times when it'll be better than the other option. If you're unsure whether trimming or removing a tree is the right answer, here is how to decide.


One of the big arguments for tree removal is that the plant isn't in good health. Even if the situation only calls for trimming a few branches, you should assess the tree's health first. You don't want to pay for tree trimming this year only to come back to the problem next year because the tree is in poor condition. If the tree is showing signs of disease, age, or infestation, then it may be past the point that the condition is treatable. You might be better off removing the tree now rather than waiting for the situation to worsen.

Physical Issues

Even healthy trees can have physical issues. For example, the branches may have grown unevenly. In this condition, the tree can be unbalanced and lean toward one side. In many cases, a tree trimming contractor can remove one or two of the heaviest and longest branches to stabilize things. However, extremely unbalanced growth over the years can cause the trunk to bend too far in one direction. In those instances, tree removal may be the safest choice.


A tree's proximity to property, people, or infrastructure can be problematic. One of the classic reasons for tree trimming is to keep branches from threatening power lines. People trim tree branches to keep them away from sheds, driveways, and porches, too.

Depending on how close the trunk is to threatening something, though, tree removal might be optimal. This is especially true if the tree is tall and close to a house or some other building. It also is true if the tree is a member of a species that puts down shallow roots. These kinds of trees may not hold up well in high winds even if they're young and vigorous.


Just because tree trimming will work doesn't mean it's a great choice in all situations. There is a good chance you've seen where contractors took out more than half the branches to accommodate power lines. The tree ends up with a very artificial-looking 90-degree notch where the branches used to be. Sometimes, the more aesthetically pleasing choice is to remove the tree rather than leave it looking shorn.

Reach out to a company like Artistic Arbor Gardens Inc. to learn more.