Maintaining a healthy, attractive landscape can be a major undertaking – and your trees are at the top of the list. They provide essential shade and oxygen and add beauty to your property. When that big tree in your yard shows signs of damage or decay, you may wonder if it’s time to take it down. Removing a large tree is an important decision involving safety concerns and potential financial implications. To help you decide what’s suitable for you and your property, let’s explore some key considerations when deciding when (and how) to remove a tree from your backyard.

Dead Branches

If you spot dead or dying branches on your tree, it can signify that the tree is unhealthy and may need to be removed before it causes any significant damage. If a substantial number of branches appear to be dead or dying, call a professional arborist or tree service to have the tree checked out. They can determine if the tree needs to be pruned back or removed entirely.


Look for large, deep cracks in the trunk of your tree. These may appear suddenly or gradually over time. Still, they are a sign that something is wrong with the tree’s structural integrity and that it should be evaluated to determine if it needs to be removed. Don’t ignore any large or jagged cracks, as they can be a sign that a tree might fall in a storm.


Root structure issues and soil problems can cause trees to lean, which could indicate that it’s time for the tree to come down before it causes any damage. If you notice your tree suddenly leaning or has been leaning for some time, it’s best to call a tree removal service to determine if it needs to be removed.

Fungus Can Mean it’s Time to Remove a Tree

If you see any signs of fungus near the base of your tree, it can be a sign that the tree is in decline. Fungal growth can weaken or damage trees, making them more vulnerable to storms and other natural disasters. Have an expert check out the tree so they can assess whether or not it needs to be removed.

Woodpecker Damage Can Show You When to Remove a Tree

If you’re noticing small, round holes in the bark of your tree and it’s accompanied by a pile of wood chips on the ground beneath it, chances are that a woodpecker is at work. The presence of woodpeckers can indicate an unhealthy insect infestation, weakening the tree and making it vulnerable to other damage. If you notice this kind of activity on your tree, it may be time to call in a professional for an assessment.

Roots Protruding from the Soil

If you notice that the roots of your tree are protruding from the soil or that the soil around your tree is no longer level and even, it might be a sign that your tree needs to come down. Uneven or exposed roots can indicate soil erosion or poor drainage, both of which can cause significant damage to the health of your tree.

Knowing when to remove a tree from your yard can save you time and money in the long run. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to consult with a professional arborist or tree service as soon as possible so they can assess the situation and make sure your yard is safe and healthy.

SC Property Inspections provides inspections to homebuyers and sellers in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Contact us to request our services.