Three Questions to Ask Before Removing a Tree
Many home owners are fortunate to have a property with mature trees and shrubs. Although it is always best to save a tree when you can, there may be times when you question tree removal as an option for aesthetic or safety purposes.

Here are three questions to ask yourself before making a decision:

1 Is it causing structural damage? Tree roots can grow to the surface and change the drainage pattern across a property. In some cases, they can block water and keep it from running away from a house or yard. A tree planted too close to a house can lift a walk, rot the eaves and drop juicy berries that are then tracked through the house.

2 Is it making the property difficult to use? If a tree robs you of the ability to do what you would like to on your property, then removing it might be the answer. But first, try to include it in your plans. The trunk can be incorporated into a deck or patio design. The effect of making an opening in a deck for the tree to grow through is quite pleasing.

3 Can tree removal help the space? If healthier and more desirable species will be planted in place of the one that was removed, it can be good for the environment. In a natural woodland setting, removing certain trees can help the ecosystem. For example, the removal of leggy, weak pines will make space for the more desirable native hardwoods.

 Knowing the Difference Between Good and Bad Debt Can Help You Better Manage—and Reduce Your Debt
When struggling to repay debts—credit card bills, car payments, student loans — it’s hard to think of any debt as particularly good. Think again, as it turns out, that’s not exactly the case. Some debt is better or worse than others, and knowing the difference is important. Bev Moir, senior wealth advisor with ScotiaMcLeod explains how you can distinguish between the two and better assess your financial situation.

The Good  is like an investment—a home, a piece of land, or even stocks—it is taken on in order to purchase something with value that will increase in the months and years to come.

The Bad  Credit cards are the most common example of bad debt. Most Canadians have more than one credit card and credit cards typically carry high interest rates, meaning the balance owing can quickly balloon size, and usually has substantially higher carrying costs. If not paid off on the due date, the carrying cost compounds at this high rate and the amount owed just builds and builds.

The Reality  For potential homeowners, the difference between good and bad debt is important. Carrying high credit card debt can mean trouble for those trying to secure a mortgage. It can reflect poorly on personal credit history and rating. Banks base their decision to lend for major purchases on the borrower’s proven ability to repay; if the evidence isn’t there, lenders may be less likely to approve the desired mortgage.