Why Is Tree Removal Important?

Educational | October 20, 2022

A healthy tree canopy provides beauty to an area as well as much-needed shade. Trees have tremendous environmental benefits in terms of cleaning the air and mitigating climate change. But for reasons ranging from safety to practicality, sometimes trees need to be removed.

Why Do Trees Need to Be Removed?

Tree removal is important for right-of-way passages, utility line clearance and emergency storm response. If trees are left to grow unchecked, they can cause damage to people and property. Old, sick trees in particular are in danger of falling unexpectedly, which can be downright deadly.
Property, power lines and people are all at risk from sick, weakened trees that may fall without warning. For these reasons and more, tree clearing is often necessary.

Right-of-Way Tree Clearance

The idea of the right-of-way is to allow for commerce and transportation. Public roads are a right-of-way that allow us to drive from one place to another, go to work, get groceries, etc. Local rights-of-way often include not just the roads, but the strips alongside the roads that include the sidewalks, shoulders, curbs and storm drains.

Rights-of-way are often lined by trees, and these trees can make a street prettier as well as healthier for everyone. However, trees have downsides, and one of the downsides is that branches and debris can fall. Worse, an old, sick tree can completely crash down on a right-of-way. For this reason, homeowners and commercial businesses are often required to maintain and prune trees to make sure that there is room for cars and people while maintaining safety.

Trees that are allowed to grow too close to a roadway can impede cars and traffic, such as trees that hang too low that could hit cars and cause accidents. Also, rights-of-way often include important utility lines that bring electricity and important services to homes and businesses.

Utility Line Clearance

Utility lines bring necessary electricity and cable services to residential homes and commercial businesses. While some utility lines can be buried, the cost can be extremely prohibitive. Even overhead power lines are expensive, at a rate of potentially $100,000 per mile, and this cost could potentially be increased by a factor of 10 or more if the lines were to be buried. Additionally, some locations are simply not feasible for burying cable due to ground type and the potential for flooding.

For these reasons, it is usually far more economical to run lines overhead — but this means that trees must be pruned and managed to avoid tangling with the power lines.

There is an art to protecting utility lines with proper tree clearing and pruning. Ideally, trees will be directionally pruned from the get-go, which means they will be guided to grow away from the power lines. If this is done properly, there may be less need to remove the tree entirely later.

Emergency Storm Response

Tornados, derechos, winter storms, fires, floods and hurricanes all put stress on trees (as well as power lines). Trees are susceptible to not just wind, but water and ice. Ice alone can weigh down a tree to the point where the tree can break. Hurricanes don’t just bring wind damage, but water damage. Flooded tree roots can weaken the foundation of the tree, kill the tree via drowning or cause root rot, a fungal infection that can also destroy a tree.

The period after a storm can often be quite dangerous due to the potential damaged trees that break and fall.

Hazard Tree Clearance

An important aspect of tree management is proactive hazard tree clearance. A good hazard tree program will take defined steps to monitor and manage potentially diseased and damaged trees to remove them before they become too dangerous.

It is better not to wait when it comes to hazardous trees. The potential cost as well as damage of a fallen tree can be quite enormous, especially if the tree falls into a power line, transformer or building. We also don’t want trees or large branches falling on passersby.

Trees that are in the path of power lines, for example, should be routinely inspected to be sure that they are healthy and properly trimmed and pruned. Trees should be reviewed for the health of their roots as well as their branches. Aging trees can become problems simply because all trees will eventually die, even without an external force such as a storm or disease.

Once identified, hazardous trees need to be removed very carefully by tree experts who understand how to safely remove the tree, including its branches and trunk.

Replacing Trees

Once trees are removed, it’s often a good idea to replace them, and sometimes replanting is actually required by local ordinance. However, the type of tree used for replacement should fit the environment and the restrictions of the local area. You do not want to plant an extremely tall tree right next to a power line. In these cases, a shrub or a bush might be a better option.

Proper tree planting can play an important role in mitigating the need to completely remove trees later down the line.

Safe, Expert Tree Removal from a Professional Tree Service Provider

Utility companies and local governments typically turn to a professional tree service provider to manage trees and foliage that can be a danger to life and property. Townsend Tree Service is a respected tree service provider that has been in the business for more than 75 years. With a friendly, knowledgeable team and a dedication to service, Townsend Tree Service has successfully managed complex tree removal jobs for utility companies and governments.

Townsend Tree Service’s wide range of services includes vegetation management, power line clearance, herbicide packaging and application, electric utility line construction, storm damage relief and custom control panels. By safely clearing out hazardous trees, we keep streets and properties safe for residents and utility workers.

Townsend Tree Service is a leading, multi-state provider of expert tree trimming, line clearing and vegetation management services. We have extensive expertise in safe tree removal. Learn more about our integrated vegetation management services here.