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The Disadvantages of Removing Trees in Your Yard

By Diana K. Williams ; Updated September 21, 2017
Large tree in yard.

Trees in your landscape can highlight architectural features of your home or hide unpleasant views. In certain situations, though, you may want to remove trees, such as to create more space. Before you call a tree removal service, consider the disadvantages of removing trees from your yard, and then take action in line with your goals.

Creates Costs

Removing trees leads to direct and indirect costs. If a tree shades a portion of your house, then removing the tree will cause the house's interior to heat more than it does now from sunlight, resulting directly in higher cooling bills. Also, using a tree removal service costs money. An indirect cost from tree removal may occur when you want to sell your house because many potential home buyers prefer properties that include trees. Removing trees can devalue your home’s value by up to 20 percent, depending on the trees' type and how many trees are removed.

Changes the Ecology

If you want to promote an environmentally friendly yard around your home, then removing trees will put you at a disadvantage. Trees uptake carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and they store carbon in their branches and trunks. That benefit will be lost in removed trees. Plus, trees provide food and shelter for native wildlife; removing trees will force wildlife to go elsewhere. Keeping soil in place is important especially on sloped areas of your yard. Removing trees from hills and inclines makes them susceptible to erosion unless you reseed the areas with grass or another ground cover. Although removing trees from level areas won’t cause rain to wash away soil, it will expose shade grasses and ornamental plants growing under the trees to direct sunlight, resulting in severe stress to the plants, which may die.

Decreases Beauty and Quiet

Trees add beauty to a yard, and some trees perform functions. Before removing trees, consider whether or not their roles are important to you. For instance, flowering trees provide aesthetic value, as do trees with colorful fall foliage. Also, a row of evergreens may screen out neighbors, provide privacy and stop damaging winds form reaching your house. Trees planted along a street dampen road noise.

Reduces Food and Pollinators

Fruit trees provide fresh produce for you and wildlife. Removing those trees means you would have to shop for that produce, increasing your grocery bill, and you would have less wildlife to watch. Many fruit-bearing trees attract birds. For instance, the American robin regularly visits flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) -- hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 -- for its berries, and butterflies are attracted to its flowers. Without fruit-bearing trees as a food source, certain kinds of birds and other wildlife wouldn't visit your yard. Flowering fruit trees attract bees and other pollinators that also pollinate vegetable crops. Removing flowering trees would decrease the number of pollinators that may visit your garden.

 

About the Author

 

Diana K. Williams is a certified Master Gardener, has more than a decade of experience as an environmental scientist, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and environmental studies from the Ohio Northern University. Williams is a winner of Writer’s Digest Magazine's annual writing competition.