When a tree becomes damaged by storms, disease, or an accident, there's a chance it will need to be felled. Sometimes, trees just grow in such a way that they become dangerous, or they get so large they present a risk to surrounding trees, buildings, or other structures.
If you're preparing to have a hazardous or damaged tree removed, you'll need to look at various factors to make sure the job can be completed easily and safely. One of the most important things to consider is the environmental impact of cutting down a tree. Here are some of the things you should think about to avoid causing unnecessary ecological damage when your tree is felled.
The effect on wildlife
Trees are often planted for humans to enjoy, whether it's for shade, fruit, or the simple enjoyment of how they look. Because of this, people sometimes forget how much wildlife relies on the existence of trees to thrive.
With a single tree, there could be hundreds of different animal species, from the tiny to the significantly large, that rely on it for shelter or food. If a tree needs to be removed, there's little you can do about it, and there's no way to completely avoid any negative impact on wildlife. However, there are some special cases to look out for.
If birds are nesting in the tree, you should wait until they've moved on before it's removed. Many bird species in Australia have protected status. If the tree is too dangerous to wait, a wildlife organisation can advise you on how to proceed.
Likewise, if any larger animals rely on the tree for food, consider waiting until the fruiting season is over.
The legal status of the tree
Some trees are covered by a protection order, perhaps because they're of a rare species, or they have some sort of historical value. It's unlikely to find one on private property, but if it's an old tree, you should make an effort to check.
In a few cases, the tree lies in a conservation area, so even if the individual specimen isn't protected, it will still have a legally protected status.
If either of these things applies, you're likely to need express permission before the tree can be removed.
The surrounding plant life
A professional tree felling company will be able to remove trees with minimal impact to surrounding trees and other plants. However, you should seek expert advice if you think any growth nearby could be important enough to protect for environmental reasons.