5 Reasons You Shouldn't Cut down a Tree
While removing a tree is always an option, it may have adverse effects (Photo courtesy of Kal Perry)
There are plenty of good reasons to remove a tree from your property, but sometimes unnecessarily removing a tree can have adverse consequences. We spoke to certified arborists and tree service experts from around the country who provided these reasons to reconsider cutting down or removing a tree.
Trees are savable
If the tree has a treatable disease or pest issue, homeowners shouldn’t automatically consider tree removal as their only option, says Wes Kocher, a resource manager with the International Society of Arboriculture.
Hiring a tree service with a certified arborist on staff can help you assess a tree’s overall health and provide possible treatments that can save the tree.
Trees help lower energy bills
“If the tree is near the house and provides a significant amount of shade, it can lower that AC bill,” says Tim B. Pruett, Sr. of American Tree Service in Austin.
Tim Young of Tim Young Tree Service in Charlotte agrees that shade from trees can reduce a utility bill by cutting the amount of energy needed to cool a home, but suggests that homeowners think about how trees can help in the winter by providing a windbreak. “Ideally, the best place to plant evergreens is on the north side of the house,” he says. “This can reduce the chill of the north winds [in winter], which can also reduce the power bill.”
Trees can improve curb appeal and property value
If your tree improves the look of your home – and its value – think twice before removing it. “Well chosen, well-kept trees immediately draw the eye to the house and its character,” Young says. “A well designed landscape with appropriate trees will always draw a higher selling price than a lot with no trees or ill-chosen trees. If the tree you have enhances what you already have, by all means, keep the tree!”
This consideration is especially important for older, larger trees, says Lorenzo Romero of RF Tree Service in Houston. "A beautiful big tree takes 4 to 5 decades or more to grow," he says. "Is it worth it?"
Trees provide privacy
Trees not only provide power savings, they can also provide privacy, particulary for homes on smaller lots. “This is a huge concern for customers when they have to remove a tree that they wish they didn’t have to – they have to give up some privacy,” says Trevor March, a ISA-certified arborist with Northwest Tree Specialists in Hillsboro, Ore.
You're connected to the tree
You don’t have to be a tree "hugger" to know that sometimes a tree is more than just a plant. If the tree was a gift or planted in the memory of a loved one – or simply inherited when you purchased the home – you may find it holds a certain emotional significance. “Liking a certain tree provides a certain psychological comfort when returning from a hard day of work,” Young says.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article that originally posted August 27, 2012