Six Signs That a Tree Needs Removing

For the average homeowner, the condition of garden trees isn’t necessarily a prime concern – especially if everything appears fine on the surface.

However, older trees and changing landscapes can affect their stability and cause dangerous collapses. Fallen trees have been known to wreck houses, cars, fences, transport routes and power lines when someone has missed the signs that a tree needs removing.

Furthermore, insurance companies will not cover the cost of fallen tree removal, citing it as your responsibility as the property owner. This will not only disrupt your everyday life but also leave you out of pocket financially.

There are actually tell-tale signs which can prevent trees from falling. If these signs are spotted and acted upon, the tree can be removed before a major problem arises and consequent damage is caused.

To help you with this, here are six possible warning signs that a tree needs removing to avoid falling in your garden or around your property.

Six Signs That a Tree Needs Removing


Perhaps the most obvious sign of a tree’s vulnerability can be seen with a clear lean to one side.

If the angle of the slant has begun to increase, then you should take precautionary steps immediately and consider its removal. Loose soil and cracked roots are other indications that the tree may have broken from its root system and is a falling hazard.

Weak branches

Another of the signs that a tree needs removing can be weak branches, especially if large dead wood has been falling from the top of the tree.

Likewise, dead wood can be spotted when leaves turn brown or do not grow at all, even in the spring or summer. You should inspect branches that attach to the trunk and look for a tight V-shape crotch – this usually indicates a weak connection.


Any deep or large cracks are relatively easy to spot and often mean the tree is suffering from structural weakness or internal decay. If serious enough, they can cause the entire tree to split and collapse on itself.

However, not all cracks signify irreversible damage and even hollow trees can stand for years. If unsure, you can employ the services of an arborist to measure trunk thickness and stability.

Tree history

Any previous jobs in and around the tree, such as digging trenches nearby, may have inadvertently caused problems.

Roots which have been disturbed can affect stability, whilst any breakage of regrowth is also not ideal, i.e. after any ‘topping’ work has been completed.

In addition, any soil piled over the root system can also cause the tree to stop growing and eventually die.


The roots are the basis of any strong tree. They anchor the tree, keeping it straight and stable, whilst absorbing water, chemicals and nutrients vital for growth and repair.

Any damage to them can cause severe problems with the tree itself, often without you knowing. If strong winds occur then this root damage can cause the tree to collapse without prior warning.

Tree environment

The vicinity of the tree should also be considered when deciding if it needs to be removed. If it can conceivably fall onto your home or car then a careful inspection should be made to signify its health.

Nearby ground can also be a deciding factor, for example if the tree is planted on a rock ledge, next to a body of water or close to a newly planted tree – this can have an adverse effect on the roots and cause instability.

Signs that a tree needs removing – a summary

We’ve covered some of the major signs that a tree needs removing in this blog.

However, there can be other reasons that a tree needs removing, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need a tree surgeon in West London.

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