We had a tree that has been growing in the grassy area between our sidewalk and the road for decades. I planted it with my dad when I was five, and now my wife and I have grandchildren. I never moved other than when I went to college. I bought the place from my parents soon after graduation. That tree has been scraped and bumped by so many big trucks that now go up and down the road that it was in bad shape. I called a tree service in Long Island to see if it could be saved.
The tree was actually still intact and growing well. However, the tree person showed me how it was just starting to establish a thick root that was beginning to lift the sidewalk. I could see it now that I was looking for it. I did not want to have to pay to have the sidewalk fixed, so we decided to take the tree down and plant a smaller tree in its place. It was a tough thing to see that big tree be cut down. It had survived many winters and many bumps and scrapes from everything from delivery trucks to snow plows.
If it would not have been already starting to lift the sidewalk, I would have just had them prune it and figure out how to protect the one side that always takes the hits from the traffic. With the tree gone, we had a big boulder put in to stop traffic from jumping the sidewalk and getting into our yard. At least the big rock will not be establishing a root system. However, it is nowhere near as pretty as that old tree was, and I miss the shade it provided on the front porch of our house in the summer.