When you're having a tree removed, you may wonder exactly what went wrong. In some cases, your tree may have simply reached the end of its natural lifespan. But in other cases, insects, storm damage, and other problems could contribute to a tree's demise. Here are four soil issues that could result in the need to have a tree removed.

1. Soil that doesn't drain

Some trees are more susceptible to wet soil than others, but for many trees, soil that simply won't drain and that holds excess water all the time is a recipe for disaster. The constantly wet soil isn't able to carry enough oxygen to the tree's roots, and the roots can start to suffocate. Wet soil can also cause a tree's roots to rot due to pathogens that thrive in low-oxygen areas.

2. Soil that encourages shallow roots

While it's true that trees grow many of their roots in the upper layers of soil, it's also true that encouraging shallower root growth than normal can be detrimental to the tree's growth. If the soil is extremely shallow or devoid of nutrients, the tree may concentrate on growing roots right at the surface for optimum efficiency.

Unfortunately, a tree that has shallower roots than usual is also less structurally stable than it should be. This problem can result in a tree that may blow over in a storm easily.

3. Soil that's contaminated

In a coastal climate, especially if you live near the beach, you may find that both the soil and the air contain more salt than many plants and trees can handle. Too much salt in the soil can keep trees from growing correctly and may eventually mean they need to be removed. Salt can also get into your soil if you live right next to a road that's salted in winter.

Other soil contaminants, such as herbicides and other chemicals and toxins, may also cause damage and even kill a tree.

4. Soil that hosts pathogens

Some tree pathogens are soil-borne. For instance, verticillium wilt is endemic in the soil in some areas of the country. The pathogen may be extra concentrated in the soil in areas where verticillium-susceptible plants have been growing. A tree planted in this area could be extra susceptible to succumbing from verticillium wilt.

These four soil-related problems can all result in needing tree removal. If you're unsure what happened to your current tree, you can also ask your tree removal experts what their diagnosis is and get suggestions on how to avoid the same problem with your next tree.