Every day, you look outside and see that pesky, mature tree taking up valuable real estate on your property. You constantly think about what could go in its place – a gazebo, a swimming pool or perhaps a brand new deck.  You want it removed but its daunting size and your lack of knowledge when it comes to using a chainsaw prevents you from taking action. You wisely understand that best move calling a professional contractor to have it removed. But before you do that, here are five things to keep in mind before eliminating such a large tree from your lawn.

  1. Permits

Before you start cutting off any branches, make sure that you and your contractor have all the paper work signed with your town or city. Read up on the bylaws regarding large tree removal, which may require a permit based on the diameter or height of your tree.

  1. Plan of Action

When discussing how to remove the tree, be sure to ask your contractor about what’s called a felling path, which is where you want the tree to fall. Usually, it should be approximately twice as long as the height of your tree and free from any barriers. Also, enquire about the retreat paths, which are two diagonal paths away from the felling path in case something goes wrong.

  1. Branches

In addition to knowing how it will fall, when it comes to trees over twenty feet in height, an arborist will usually cut it down in sections, especially if the tree is close to a road or a power line. Again, ask them about their removal method. Will they be “limbing out” your tree before making any big cuts to the trunk?

  1. Soil Erosion

You may not know it but trees reduce the amount of erosion by helping your lawn absorb water into soil. So before you make the decision to remove a large tree, ask your contactor or arborist about any potential erosion that may occur as a result.

  1. What to do with the stump?

After removing the tree, you need to decide about what to do with the stump? Since it takes roughly ten years for the stump to decompose, the choice is between leaving it to rot on its own or by having it removed, either with a stump grinder or by hand.