tree removal expert uses chainsaw to cut down tree

The Ultimate Guide to Tree Removal: Everything You Need to Know

At Seacoast Tree Care, we focus on preserving the long-term health of trees whenever possible. Trees are prized treasures that we feel deserve the utmost care. They provide benefits to your property in the form of aesthetics, beauty, sentimental value, and also property value.

As we’ve said many times before, we believe that trees are treasures and we are their guardians.

That being said, there are times when a tree is in bad shape or growing in a poor location and tree removal is necessary. Sometimes it simply cannot be avoided. When that’s the case, it’s important that this service is performed properly. Tree removal is a risky service and mistakes can be detrimental.

There’s a lot to know about how to remove a tree (as well as plenty of tree removal myths) and we want to help make sure that you’re educated as you begin the process. In order to make the best decisions for your New England property, you need to be educated on what’s involved in this service including what to expect and how to choose a tree removal company.

Table of Contents

Understanding Tree Removal

As the name implies, a tree removal service is the process of removing a tree from the ground. As a company that loves trees, we always want to do what we can to save them. But sometimes tree removal is simply a necessity.

When removing a tree, we also recommend tree stump removal. Tree stumps that are left in the ground can pose future problems. We also think that left-behind tree stumps can pose an eyesore.

tree care expert ties rope to remove tree

As far as when to remove a tree, the circumstances can vary. There are different reasons why this service may be warranted, including the possibility that your tree is declining, damaged, or even dead.

Here are some of the common reasons why homeowners choose to remove a tree from their property.

  • Dead or hanging limbs: One potential reason is if the tree has dead or hanging limbs. If your tree is dropping branches, this could be a sign that it’s declining. Dying trees tend to drop more branches than healthy trees (as this occurs when the branches start to rot). If you think your tree may be dying, it’s important to have it evaluated.

  • Storm damage: If your tree was struck by lightning or suffered damage due to high winds, it’s possible that it is now at risk of falling. It’s important to have storm damage evaluated. Sometimes it can be solved with a service called cabling and bracing or with pruning. But sometimes a severely damaged tree loses its aesthetic appeal. 

  • The tree is leaning: If your tree is leaning, it could be a safety risk for your property. Sometimes a lean is related to how a tree is growing. If this is the case, cabling and bracing can potentially help stabilize it. But a tree that is suddenly leaning could potentially pose a risk of falling. It’s very important that this condition is inspected by a professional.

  • Severe pest or disease infestations: Another reason why people sometimes hire a tree removal service is due to an infestation. Whether or not this truly warrants removal depends on what type of pest or disease your tree is dealing with. While some can be cured others are going to ravage your tree and it may not be a fixable problem. The best course of action is always to get in touch with a professional at the first sign of trouble. Often, the earlier a problem is dealt with, the better the outcome.

  • A Poor location: Sometimes a tree doesn’t have an existing problem but it’s in a risky location. If you have a large tree over your house, for instance, you might be concerned about whether it could fall during a storm. It can be hard to have peace of mind during thunderstorms with a large tree looming. Sometimes trees were planted in poor locations or have overgrown their area. For instance, a tree that is encroaching on the sidewalks or power lines might now be posing problems that weren’t an issue when the tree was young. Sometimes removal is necessary even for otherwise healthy trees.

Legal and Environmental Considerations

Whenever you are having a tree removed, it’s important that you don’t overlook legal and environmental implications.

Legal Considerations of Tree Removal

The key legal considerations for tree removal are real estate laws regarding shared possession and town and state shoreline laws. 

At Seacoast Tree Care, we service multiple towns and even work in more than one state, so we take keeping up with local regulations and ordinances seriously.

Environmental Considerations of Tree Removal

Trees have environmental benefits like oxygen production, the provision of a habitat for wildlife, and regulating temperature by providing shade. 

But sometimes tree removal is a necessity and has to be done, even knowing these environmental benefits may be lost. 

homeowner and tree removal professional inspect tree

These are things a homeowner should be prepared to accept. For instance, if you have a large shade tree, it might be saving you money on your electric bill. But it’s a matter of weighing risk over benefit. If that tree is unhealthy or at risk of falling, removing it is a necessity.

Preparation for Tree Removal

If you have a tree that you think needs to be removed, you’ll want to start the process by reaching out to some of the local tree removal services and having an assessment performed.

tree care expert and homeowner inspect tree to be removed

A tree health assessment will look at a variety of factors including:

  • The size of the tree

  • The location of the tree

  • The health of the tree including whether the tree is dead, dying, or damaged in any way

  • What structures and power lines are near the tree…and what could be damaged if the tree or a limb were to fall

  • How easily can this tree be accessed and what equipment will be needed

When a Tree Can Be Saved

Oftentimes homeowners have already decided they want a tree removed and they’re calling for quotes on this service. However, if it’s a matter where you think your tree is dying, you might be interested in tree removal alternatives if they’re possible. 

Over the years, we have had many homeowners approach us about trees that they assumed were dying or dead and they were able to be saved. Keep in mind that if a tree still has leaves on it, it’s not dead.

tree care expert inspects evergreen

If you’re interested in trying to save your tree (and avoid tree removal), a thorough health assessment will be important. A Certified Arborist will be able to tell you whether your tree can be saved.

Whenever there is any sign of trouble, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. The scary thing is that sometimes tree health problems or damage go unnoticed by homeowners. Dead limbs can be in trees for years, spreading decay to other limbs during that time, without you knowing. This is why it’s so important to have trees inspected by a professional and regularly pruned for health.

It’s common for problems to be discovered and addressed during a regular pruning service.

Moving Forward with a Tree Removal Service

If it is determined that your tree cannot be saved, or you already know that you want it removed, then you’ll want to move forward with a tree removal service for the safety of your family and your property. 

tree removal crew brings limbs to chipper

When you have tree assessments performed, you’ll likely get quite a bit of variation in the quotes that you receive for tree removal. It’s important that you don’t just choose the cheapest one. 

There are reasons why some companies charge more than others. In the next section, we will discuss how to go about the process of choosing the right tree removal company. This can be a high-risk endeavor and you want to make sure that it’s done right.

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Choosing the Right Tree Removal Company

If you are moving ahead with removal, then you want to make sure that you choose a qualified tree removal service. Tree work can be complicated, laborious, and even dangerous. 

You want to work with a company that is highly skilled at removing trees in New Hampshire, Maine, or Massachusetts.

Start Your Research

Anytime that you’re thinking about hiring a service provider, it makes sense to spend some time on their website and get to know what the company is all about. Do you see photos of actual folks that work there or is it all stock imagery?

tree service crew bumping fists

On a company’s website, you can learn more about them and the services that they offer. Take some time to read through any free blog articles or resources they provide. Are they a company that cares about helping educate the customer?

We also recommend taking the time to read any customer reviews that were written about a company that you’re considering hiring.

Reach Out to Prospective Tree Removal Companies

Once you’ve narrowed your list to a few potential tree removal services, it makes sense to give them a call or reach out via email to ask a few questions.

tree care expert and homeowner shake hands

Here are a few questions that you can ask to determine whether a tree removal company is qualified for the work.

  • Do you employ Certified Arborists? When you hire a company that employs Certified Arborists, you know that they care about training and expertise. A Certified Arborist is a professional who has completed testing as well as a certain amount of experience in order to earn that qualification. These are the top people in the field.

  • Do you have the necessary insurance coverage? Insurance coverage is also critical and it’s a big red flag if a company you’re thinking about hiring for a  tree removal service can’t answer this question. You want to make sure that they have the appropriate amount of coverage. As we’ve mentioned, there is a lot of risk involved in this line of work. A tree removal company needs to carry liability insurance so that you are protected from being liable for an accident. 

  • What equipment will you use to remove my tree? There is a lot involved in removing a tree and you want to make sure that the company you hire is equipped for the work.
  • Tell me how you’ll ensure tree removal is done safely? Safety needs to be taken incredibly seriously when a tree is being removed. Ask any company that you’re considering how they ensure the safety of your property, structures, and their people when working at your home.

  • What other services do you offer? Even though you’re hiring a tree removal company for a removal service, you might be interested to know what other services they can provide. At Seacoast Tree Care, we offer Plant Health Care services, tree pruning, and cabling and bracing. We also have a sister company that offers lawn care services.

While it might seem like a lot of work to do your due diligence, it will pay off by helping ensure you’ll make the best choice for your tree removal needs.

Tree Removal Safety Measures and Equipment

When it comes to proper tree removal, safety is imperative. After all, tree removal is documented as one of the most hazardous professions out there. It’s critical that you hire a company that puts safety first. 

tree removal expert in lift

By taking your time to research options, you’ll get a sense of what companies take safety seriously. As we mentioned in our section on how to choose a tree removal company, don’t be afraid to ask outright about safety.

A Plan of Action

Before your tree is removed, safety precautions will be discussed. A plan will be put in place to remove your tree in the safest way possible. The probability of the tree falling (and also its fall path) will also be discussed.

Proper Gear and Equipment

Once it comes time to remove a tree, safety starts with what your tree care workers are wearing. This is called “PPE” or personal protection equipment. The PPE for tree removal workers includes heavy gloves, boots, a hard hat, ear protection, ropes, and safety goggles. 

tree removal team lifts limbs into front yard

Safety also comes into play in terms of the equipment used. A company should not only be using the right equipment for the job but should be operating it properly. This is a key reason to avoid smaller and fly-by-night companies who might not be equipped with everything they need for a big job.

Safe Tree Removal

There should also be a plan in place for securing the area around the tree. Any objects in the tree’s fall trajectory or any power lines are a major consideration. A controlled dismantling approach may be taken. This involves cutting and removing a tree in sections and lowering each to the ground.

tree removal team cleans up debris

Once the tree has been taken down, safe disposal is a final consideration. You want to make sure that your tree removal company disposes of any remaining debris in a safe and responsible way.

Aftercare and Landscape Restoration

Once your tree has been removed, you’ll have the stump to deal with next. While you could choose to leave the stump in the ground, there are some important reasons why we think tree stump removal is the best option.

logs in pile after tree removal

Here are a few considerations.

  • Stumps left in the ground will eventually rot. A left-behind stump and its roots are eventually going to go through the rotting process. This can become an invitation for Carpenter Ants or Termites to take up residence. These pests love rotting wood because it is easier to eat. The last thing that you want is to invite these types of pests onto your property. If a tree stump is near your home, you could risk these pests finding their way into your home’s structure. Tree stump removal is a better choice.

  • Left-behind stumps are a hazard. A stump left sticking up in the yard also becomes a trip-and-fall hazard and a mowing hazard. It’s now something that you’re going to have to mow around every time you mow the lawn. Mowing equipment can even be accidentally broken when mowing over a low stump. 

  • Stumps are an eyesore. Finally, there is the aesthetic factor to consider. Tree stumps are not attractive and can detract from your property’s curb appeal. The stump is also likely taking up valuable space that can be used for something more functional.

How Much Does Tree Stump Removal Cost?

Stump removal typically starts at around $250 and goes upwards from there. This is a cost on top of tree removal.

There are a variety of factors that impact the tree stump removal cost in New Hampshire and surrounding areas. 

tree removal expert looks at stump with homeowner

These include accessibility, location, stump diameter, and even soil type. If it takes a lot of time and labor to remove a stump due to the root system or the size of the tree, it could end up costing a lot more.

Restoring the Landscape

Once the tree and its stump have been removed, you’ll want to take some steps to restore the landscape. First, make sure that any lingering debris is removed. 

After the area is clear of debris, including wood chips, you can add soil and prep the land to grow grass (if that’s your intended plan). It will be important that you take grading into account. Make sure to add the right amount of soil to level things out. 

If your plan is to grow a new tree where the previous one was removed, then you’ll want to make sure that the soil is prepared to support tree growth. Trees need a lot of nutrients to grow strong and healthy. You can consult with a tree care expert for advice if this is your plan.

FAQs About Tree Removal

Hopefully, this guide has given you a much clearer picture of what is involved in a tree removal service. Before we wrap things up, we also want to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions about tree removal that we haven’t addressed yet.

How do I know that my tree needs to be removed?

We covered this topic but since it’s one of the most common questions we receive, we want to address it again (particularly in case you jumped to this section). 

tree care expert removes limbs using crane

There are various potential reasons to remove a tree. Sometimes the location simply isn’t working anymore. If a tree was planted too close to a sidewalk or structure, it might now be causing problems at full maturity that it didn’t when it was smaller. While pruning can sometimes be a solution, it may be determined that removal is the best option.

Other reasons to potentially remove a tree include:

  • Dead or hanging limbs
  • A sudden “lean”
  • Root damage
  • Disease or pest infestations 
  • Storm damage

If you aren’t sure if your tree truly needs to be removed, a professional will help evaluate it and decide.

Will it be obvious that my tree needs to be removed?

Unfortunately, tree problems are sometimes not visible to the untrained eye. A tree might have an infestation or another problem that you haven’t noticed. That’s why it’s important to keep up with regular pruning and make sure your trees are periodically assessed.

tree care expert cuts limbs with chainsaw

What time of the year should you remove a tree?

Tree removal can happen any time but there are some good reasons to consider tree removal in the winter. These include better visibility, less clean-up, reduced ground and flower bed damage, enhanced safety, and improved spring appearance. 

It’s also the optimal time to prevent the spread of diseases and pests since during winter most insects and fungi are dormant.

Do I have to remove the stump?

While we already discussed some of the reasons why tree stump removal is important, you might still be wondering if it’s an absolute necessity. While you can choose to leave it behind, we think it does pose the risk of more problems.

Can I just attempt tree removal myself?

Every once in a while homeowners ask us about DIY tree removal but we want to stress how complicated, difficult, and dangerous this service can be. Removing trees on your property could lead to personal injury or damage to nearby structures, vehicles, or more. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Why Choose Seacoast Tree for Your Tree Removal Needs

When it comes to choosing tree removal services in Southern New Hampshire, Maine, and Northeastern MA, you have options. You’ll want to choose a tree care professional who has extensive training, experience, and skill so that you feel confident your tree will be removed safely and properly.

At Seacoast Tree Care, we work with a team of highly skilled Certified Arborists who can not only perform thorough inspections but will also ensure trees come down safely when they do need to be removed.

Need tree removal at your Southern NH, Maine, or Massachusetts  home? Request your consultation and have your New England trees evaluated. By making a wise choice, you’ll know your trees are in good hands.

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