Should I cut down a tree?

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A tree in our front yard is hollowed about 1/3 of the way through. Do I need to take it down? Thank you!

  12 answers
  • Ginny Ginny on Feb 23, 2018
    I would call a reliable tree co. in your area ASAP. Sounds like the tree is rotting. My neighbor's tree lost large limbs in a VERY large windstorm last month and one nearly went right through my TV rm. ceiling (missed roof by less than 6"). Thank goodness it didn't, but they had it taken down as I had been hinting at for many years. Yes, it was slowly rotting.

    People want trees around their homes but don't to pay the cost of having them professionally examined and trimmed every few years. A women on Maryland's Eastern Shore was killed during a windstorm when she went out to take in her garbage cans so they wouldn't blow away. A very large tree fell on her. Strange things do happen.
    • Ohiorn Ohiorn on Feb 23, 2018
      Thank you! So glad you weren't injured. We had the tree checked a few years ago when we had to take a huge spruce down.
  • Yvonne Smith Angus Yvonne Smith Angus on Feb 23, 2018
    Depends upon the overall strength of the tree, and whether the tree is dead or dieing where the hollow is.
  • Yvonne Smith Angus Yvonne Smith Angus on Feb 23, 2018
    Best to have an expert look at it, to gage the strength, and determine if it will, or will not fall over in a storm or high winds.
  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 23, 2018
    Sounds like the tree is on it's way out. I'd have a couple tree trimming companies come out and give you their take on the trees future. Get a couple of estimates, they should be free. If you decide to take it down and plant another one, don't plant it too close to the house. Later on, the roots can do a lot of damage to your foundation. I hope your tree can be saved, they are so wonderful.
    • Ohiorn Ohiorn on Feb 23, 2018
      We had the tree checked when we had to take a large one down in our backyard a few years ago. We live on a slab and have had issues with tree roots for years. The tree is about 60 years old, planted when the house was built. If it has to go down, it is sad.
  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 23, 2018
    my uncle was a certified arborist- tree surgeon if you will. his rule when planting a tree was to plant it as it was fully mature- the tree will grow a root ball 3 times that of the canopy. research the type of trees you like, know their mature size, plant accordingly.
    • Ohiorn Ohiorn on Feb 23, 2018
      Tree is at the curb area, but roots are at our driveway also. Thanks for the information-it's amazing how many times you see huge trees next to a home.
  • B B on Feb 23, 2018
    Arborist will determine if you tree is still safe or could be a liability for you if not you could make a fairy garden inside the hollow. Keep tree if you can and like it.
    • Ohiorn Ohiorn on Feb 23, 2018
      We love the trees and will keep it if we can. Only a couple of houses on our street have the trees that were planted in the late 50's. Thank you!

  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 23, 2018
    my yard is nothing but tree roots.....mature maple out front, mature aspen in the side yard and a stand of pine as a “ wind break”...a wind break placed to close to the house, I get 4 ft drifts of snow on my back door. I don’t see any flattening at the tops of the pines yet......that’s a notice that the tree is at the end of its life span. How thick is the sides on the hollowed out portion, and is there a bit of green under the bark? If you see green and the sides are thick...have it evaluated by an arborist before you start cutting it down.
  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 23, 2018
    About that hollow tree...you may or may not need to cut it down. The tree grows from the out side..adding layeres as it grows. Do a bit of research if you know the type of tree it is...and what the life expectancy is. If it’s near the end have it taken down. Other wise, enjoy the shade.
  • Ginny Ginny on Feb 27, 2018
    Have it checked again. I saw a show on MD Public TV a few days ago and an arborist who used a rubber headed hammer/mallet to check life expectancy of a tree. He started at the roots which sounded solid and worked his way up to about 5' from the ground. As he hit the tree with the mallet, the sounds changed until he likened the sound to a drum which the indicates that something was beginning to rot in Denmark (very hollow). He estimated the tree to be about 100 yrs. old and in need of a professional checkup. The arborist also said that when you see moldy truffle-like things growing nr. the root of a tree and exposed roots, it is time to call a pro.

    Recently a 100+ yr old tree fell on a woman and her two children as they were walking on the sidewalk in Central Park. Her infant is OK, but she suffered paralysis for some weeks and her 5 yr. old had a head injury. She is suing NYCity for neglecting to check older trees that overhang where pedestrians stroll and is still wearing a neck brace and having some health problems. If not for bystanders, she and her children would have died according to the news report and the tree expect who was interviewed.

    Better to be safe than sorry and sued.
  • Ginny Ginny on Mar 02, 2018
    I would have the tree checked about every 3-5 yrs. considering my (and several of my neighbors) experiences with old trees. I live in a suburb of Baltimore MD that is noted for its oak trees and many are well over 100' tall with huge trunks. It isn't unusual to rake over 40 bags of leaves each fall because of the amount of trees in my area.

    Keep up the good work and have a nice spring.
  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Mar 02, 2018
    Take it down.
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 02, 2018
    You did not mention what kind of tree it is or how tall.
    Gut feeling is:
    It needs to come down, wind gusts, dry spells, excessive rain, snow and ice can make this happen for you sometimes sooner than later and do lots of damage to your property as well as neighbors.
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