And clean ones at that. This is something that I learned at a young age.

In places that receive heavier rain, gutters can prevent erosion, but more likely are there to prevent flooding of lawns, homes and gardens.

If your roof was real close to the ground. Since your roof is far away from the ground, the water dripping from the roof accelerates to a pretty high speed. Then it hits the ground. It makes a tiny crater, that can collect the water that follows. While the water is a little way out from the wall, it's not far enough to avoid foundation damage. Gutters get the water to the ground, and then splash it on a little chunk of concrete that it can't crater.

If you have clay in your soil then it can expand in the region that was dug up to bury your basement. This can fail your basement wall. Repairing the basement in my last house cost me $23K. If the previous owner had put up gutters, they would have paid for themselves.

My previous home did not have gutters.

It took about 3 years to cause the damage, based on the two "home improvement" projects he did when he should have been putting up gutters.

It did have sandy soil and a french drain all around the foundation. The only real problem we had was rain splashing on the deck, causing water damage both to the deck board closest to the house and to the siding at that point. But where we had a strip of decorative stones for the rest of the house, there were no problems, other than periodically refreshing the stone.

My current home has gutters, but no trees really close. We've never had a need to clean the gutters. One of the downspouts got crushed a bit by a car, but still carries the rainwater.

We see no reason to remove them.