I love trees, so when I see sickly ones that have reached their natural end, I do what needs to be done and replace them.
This story starts with an invasion of tent caterpillars. Prior to a scheduled outdoor party at my condo, I went outside to see the horror of an army of caterpillars, crawling the walls up to the third floor and I couldn't take a step without crushing them. So I called Morton Arboretum. I needed to know the cause and the cure. That's when I found out what they were, and could see they'd stripped two cherry trees bare. I was informed that the nests were usually at the top of the trees (these were at least 30 feet tall) and that burning the nests was the only thing that would work.
As I said, this was a condo, backed up to an old unused farm field. I'd worked with the condo association, so they knew I was maintaining the plants and trees behind two buildings. In this situation, however, I felt it required immediate action, so I took it upon myself to saw down the two infested cherry trees on the edge of the field. So picture an insane, determined young woman with a handsaw cutting the trees to fall towards the vacant farm field. Now picture that same woman sitting at her chiropractor's office, waiting to use the infamous quote, "I cannot tell a lie, I screwed up my back cutting down TWO Cherry trees...." It ended with a positive outcome though, and the association agreed to replace the trees with a maple.