Fertilizing a tree can increase growth, reduce susceptibility to certain diseases
and pests, and can even help reverse declining health. However, if fertilizer is
not applied wisely, it may not benefit the tree at all, and may even adversely affect
the tree. Mature trees making satisfactory growth may not require fertilization.
When considering supplemental fertilizer, it is important to know what nutrients
are needed, and when and how it should be applied.
Pruning is the most common tree maintenance procedure next to watering. Pruning
is often desirable or necessary to remove dead, diseased or insect-infested branches;
improve tree structure; enhance vigor; or maintain safety. Since each cut has the
potential to change the growth of (or cause damage to) a tree, no branch should be
removed without a reason.
Although forest trees grow quite well with only nature's pruning, landscape trees
require a higher level of care to maintain their safety and aesthetics. Pruning
should be done with an understanding of how the tree responds to each cut. Improper
pruning can cause damage that will last for the life of the tree, or worse, shorten the tree's life.
Since each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree, no branch should
be removed without a reason. Common reasons for pruning are to remove dead branches,
to remove crowded or rubbing limbs, and to eliminate hazards. Trees may also be pruned
to increase light and air penetration to the inside of the tree's crown or to the
landscape below. In most cases, mature trees are pruned as a corrective or preventative measure.
Routine thinning does not necessarily improve the health of a tree. Trees produce
a dense crown of leaves to manufacture the sugar used as energy for growth and
development. Removal of foliage through pruning can reduce growth and stored
energy reserves. Heavy pruning can be a significant health stress for the tree.
Yet if people and trees are to coexist in an urban or suburban environment, then
we sometimes have to modify the trees. City environments do not mimic natural
forest conditions. Safety is a major concern. Also we want trees to complement
other landscape plantings and lawns. Proper pruning, with an understanding of
tree biology can maintain good tree health and structure while enhancing the
aesthetic and economic values of our landscapes.
Trees provide significant benefits to our homes and cities, but when trees fall
and injure people or damage property, they are liabilities. Taking care of tree
hazards makes your property safer and prolongs the life of the tree. Trees are
an important part of our world. They offer a wide range of benefits to the
environment and provide tremendous beauty.
However, trees may be dangerous. Trees or parts of trees may fall and cause
injury to people or damage to property. We call trees in such situations hazardous,
to signify the risk involved with their presence. While every tree has the potential
to fall, only a small number actually hit something or someone.
It is an owner's responsibility to provide for the safety of trees on his/her
property. This Web site provides some tips for identifying the common defects
associated with tree hazards. However, evaluating the seriousness of these
defects is best done by a professional arborist.
Regular tree care will help identify hazardous trees and the risk they present.
Once the hazard is recognized, steps may be taken to reduce the likelihood of
the tree falling and injuring someone.
An arborist is a specialist in the care of individual trees. Arborists are
knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide
proper care. Hiring an arborist is a decision that should not be taken lightly.
Proper tree care is an investment that can lead to substantial returns.
Well-cared-for trees are attractive and can add considerable value to your property.
Poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability. Pruning or removing trees,
especially large trees, can be dangerous work. Tree work should only be done by
those trained and equipped to work safely in trees.
The processes involved with construction can be devastating to the surrounding
trees if no measures have been taken to protect them. The visible injuries,
such as broken branches and wounds to tree trunks, are only the beginning.
It is the damage to the root systems that often result in tree loss.
In an ideal situation, an arborist is called in to consult in the planning stages
of construction. Trees can be preserved if the appropriate measures are taken
soon enough. Unfortunately, it is usually when the first signs of decline appear
that help is sought.
There are some remedial treatments that may save some construction-damaged trees,
but immediate implementation is critical. If you have trees that have been affected
by recent construction, consult a professional arborist promptly. Your arborist can
assess each tree for viability and potential hazards, and recommend treatments.
Insects and diseases may become serious threats to your tree's health. As soon
as you notice any abnormality in your tree's appearance, you must begin a careful
analysis to gain an understanding of the problem. By examining the specific
symptoms of damage and understanding their causes, you can make a reasonalble
diagnosis of the problem and select the proper treatment.
Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known. Yet despite
more than 25 years of literature and seminars explaining its harmful effects,
topping remains a common practice. What is topping? - Topping is the indiscriminate
cutting back of tree branches to stubs or lateral branches that are not large
enough to assume the terminal role. Other names for topping include "heading,"
"tipping," "hat-racking," and "rounding over."
The most common reason given for
topping is to reduce the size of a tree. Often homeowners feel that their trees
have become too large for their property. People fear that tall trees may pose
a hazard. Topping, however, is not a viable method of height reduction, and
certainly does not reduce the hazard. In fact, topping will make a tree more
hazardous in the long term.
Mulches are materials placed over the soil surface to maintain moisture and
improve soil conditions. Mulching is one of the most beneficial things a
homeowner can do for the health of a tree. Mulch can reduce water loss from the
soil, minimize weed competition and improve soil structure. Properly applied,
mulch can give landscapes a handsome, well-groomed appearance. Mulch must be
applied properly; if it is too deep, or if the wrong material is used, it
actually can cause significant harm to trees and other landscape plants