Tree lopping or pruning can keep a tree healthy and strong and also be necessary if the branches are starting to cause an interference with power lines or are hanging dangerously over an outbuilding. Tree removal might also be needed for a tree that is decayed beyond healing or that has been damaged in some way. If you're thinking of trimming your own trees or of having one removed, note a few questions you might have and then discuss these with a tree removal specialist if necessary.
1. How do you know if a tree needs lopping or removal?
There isn't always an easy way to determine that unless a professional inspects the tree in person. You need to consider the extent of decay or damage and if the tree can become healthy again by lopping off some dead branches so that new growth can form. If damage is in the trunk of the tree, this will depend on if it's on one side so that the tree might recover, or if the damage has affected the roots so that it cannot grow healthy again. You might try lopping some dead and decayed branches and note if the tree seems to thrive after that, otherwise it can be good to call a professional to inspect the tree personally.
2. Is there a benefit to just cutting down the tree but leaving the stump?
If a tree stump is badly decayed or is holding mold or termites, it might need to be removed. However, if it's salvageable, remember that tree roots hold moisture in the ground, and this can be beneficial for other vegetation and your lawn. Roots might also be dangerously close to plumbing pipes and pulling them up might damage the pipes. Depending on your reasons for wanting to get rid of a tree, it can be beneficial to leave the stump intact.
3. How are tree branches lopped?
Don't assume that you can just cut off a branch and the tree will be safe; trees get oxygen and hydration through their branches. You need to consider which branches to cut and also need to cut them at an angle so they can still grow back and be healthy. You also don't want to remove too many main branches that are a primary source of oxygen and hydration, as this can cause the tree to wither. If you're not sure which branches to lop and how to do it, call on a professional.