Most of us would agree that a beautiful, healthy tree adds to the beauty of our landscape. But sometimes trees need to be removed for health and safety reasons.

If your favorite tree has stopped growing leaves or developed a dramatic lean it never had before, it’s time to call an arborist for evaluation. Here are some telling signs that a tree might need to be removed:

Aerial view of a house

Root Decay

Tree roots are vital to a healthy tree, but they can become damaged by mulch, lawnmowers, excavation, or other factors. If a root system is compromised, the tree may be unable to obtain water and nutrients, leading to disease and, ultimately, death.

In some cases, a dying tree can be saved by aggressive treatment, but an Orlando tree service might suggest removal if it is beyond saving. While dead or dying trees in natural areas do not threaten property or people, they can become a hazard near homes, roads, or power lines.

Examining the trunk to see signs of internal decay, such as fungus, vertical cracks, seams, or dead branch stubs, is suggested. Also, look at the fine twigs around the branch ends to see if they grow living buds. The tree should be removed if the twigs do not grow living buds.

Dead Branches

If you notice that a tree is no longer producing leaves, it may be time to call an arborist. A lack of leaves is often a symptom that most of the tree is dead or dying and is unlikely to recover.

Additionally, brittle branches and twigs indicate the tree is in poor condition. If you can easily bend a twig or branch with your hand, it is likely living and healthy, but if it snaps, it is probably dead.

A tree may also be considered dead if it has started to lean and threatens people or property. In these cases, removing the tree before a dangerous storm knocks it down is typically best. However, leaving a dying tree in its natural setting is sometimes beneficial as it can serve as a home and food source for woodpeckers and other wildlife. This can help stifle disease and pests from spreading to nearby trees.

Leaning Trunk

A few things can cause a tree to develop this lean, including poor planting practices, severe winds, and even phototropism during growth. This type of lean is typically considered normal, though you should consider having an arborist look at it for safety reasons.

If a tree is sick or dead, the best course of action is to have it removed. Trying to save a dying or dead tree can be costly and often complex, mainly if the disease has spread to large parts of the tree.

Besides being a landscape flaw, leaving trees obstructing stop signs or streetlights on your property is unsafe. If this concerns your home or business, you will likely need to remove the tree. Doing this is easier before the tree becomes a safety hazard, as it will be more affordable and safer for everyone involved.


Disease and insect damage are common problems that can often be fatal to trees if not treated. While reviving some sick and dying trees is possible, it is often best to remove them to avoid pests and diseases spreading from the tree or potentially falling in a storm.

Look for fungus growing around the base of the tree or trunk. Fungus grows from spores drawn to wounded and decaying wood, so while not all fungus is terrible, it may be time to call for removal services if it’s on your tree.

A hollow tree trunk indicates that a tree should be removed. Hollow trunks compromise the tree’s overall health and can be dangerous in a storm, making them a hazard to people and property.