Each year thousands of trees in the US are damaged by storms, wind, lightening, and this year: drought damage. Add to that the Emerald Ash Borer now devastating thousands of Cincinnati area trees.
So when is it time to stop trying to save an old tree and take it down?
Our partners at the consumer guide Angie's List say your best bet if you are not sure is to call an arborist.
"Trees need check-ups just like people do, " Angie Hicks said. "Having a certified arborist come and exam your trees annually can help you prevent potential problems, catch disease early and protect that landscape asset."
Proper tree care is an investment that can lead to substantial returns by adding up to 15 percent to the value of your property.
But damaged goods can do the opposite. So the key is knowing when to give up on a tree with poor leaf development, discoloration or multiple dead branches.
"If a tree is structurally damaged, whether it's split or something of that nature every once in a while there are things we can do like pinning a tree together with rods, putting cables in trees, lightening branches and things of that nature, those are sometimes options to try to save the tree." said Certified Arborist Stephen Courchaine.
Some signs that homeowners should look for include dead wood on either multiple branches or the trunk, poor leaf development in the crown, and discoloration and separation of the bark on the main stem.
Remember: a sick tree can be a dangerous tree to you, your children, and neighbors. They can drop limbs.
Plus, Angie Hicks warns that waiting too long could cost you a whole lot more.
"If the tree is already dead they potentially can't climb the tree to remove limbs. Also you want to make sure they have the proper insurance because the last thing you want is someone getting hurt on your property or when those limbs are dropped it causes any damage to your property," Hicks said.
If it's time to say goodbye, the cost to remove a tree is determined by it's size location, objects around the tree, cleanup and disposal.
Finally, taking down a tree is not a D-I-Y job. Too many people have been killed trying to take down a heavy limb, when it falls on them.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
John Matarese has the newest test of bathroom and kitchen grout cleaners