This would be seen as a last resort and should be avoided if at all possible, a tree that may warrant such attention is one that poses an unacceptable risk to people and property, which is no longer worthy of retention.
Property owners owe a duty of care to persons and property, therefore the need for remedial action may be required. There appears to be a desire from certain parties to play safe by felling or topping every tree that conspicuously shows anything that might possibly be a defect.
The risk should be quantified as far as can be achieved with available methods, and from there appropriate decisions can be made and remedial action can be implemented.
Removal of a tree can come with consequences, as it can adversely affect neighbouring trees that were previously protected.
Clear felling consists of the removal of the complete tree to ground level in one operation leaving the tree structure intact. When a tree is surrounded by obstacles and hazards, sectional felling will be the most appropriate technique. The stump can be retained or removed with a stump grinder.