Most homeowners dislike the idea of having to remove a tree from their outdoor living space, but there are times when it's the best alternative. Homeowners can be held liable for damage to people and property caused by their trees in certain situations, and their own household members can be in danger as well. For instance, if you have a neglected tree on your property that has weak wood and numerous dead branches, you may be subject to a lawsuit if one of that tree's branches falls on your neighbor's car or house. Following are three common indications that the time has come for tree removal

The Tree's Health Is Failing

Although many tree species live extraordinarily long lives, there comes a time when their health begins to fail, and trees experiencing declining health can become safety hazards due to weakened wood and general instability. Branches of a declining tree are more likely to blow down during windstorms or be broken during the course of heavy snow events. Signs of declining trees include significant crown dieback, noticeable reduction in foliage from previous years, dead branches, and fruiting fungal bodies on the exterior of the trunk, particularly when they appear close to the ground. Fungal pathogens start from the inside out, so by the time they reach the outside trunk, the tree is generally rotted clean through. 

The Tree Has Been Poorly Sited

This is one of the most difficult landscaping situations a homeowner can face. Young trees may fare fairly well the first year or so after they are planted, but if the site isn't right for them, they'll eventually begin to languish and falter. For instance, a tree that requires at least six hours of direct sunlight per day will never thrive if planted in shady conditions, and a tree that is prone to root rot will eventually fall into decline if sited in a low-lying area where precipitation runoff tends to accumulate and saturate the ground. 

The Tree's Roots Are Breaking Up Your Sidewalk, Driveway, or Patio

Trees with shallow root systems that are planted too close to paved surfaces often wreak havoc on those surfaces by breaking them up as they grow upward. Although tree care services can provide temporary fixes for this problem such as cutting the roots back, the situation will repeat itself in the future. Removing the tree is the only real solution in this situation.