Trees are gorgeous. They’re beautiful, towering wonders that provide us with shade, oxygen, a natural playground to test our skills at climbing or a place to hang a swing. Most of the Calgarians we’ve worked with love the trees they’ve planted and watched grow year after year, and they would never try to harm them. After all, trees are an investment in time and energy. They need to be watered and taken care of. Even homeowners with zero interest in plants recognize their trees are an investment, or at least, a headache to remove if it should die.
Unfortunately, despite their large, looming silhouette, trees can be quite delicate and vulnerable to change. It’s important to treat your trees well, especially while they’re young.
It might seem counterintuitive, but plants don’t just breath through their leaves. They also need air to access their roots. When soil gets too compact, neither air nor water can effectively be absorbed by the roots. This is why aerating is so important for lawns. Often, when homeowners are deciding to expand or build hardscape like a new driveway, they don’t consider how the addition will affect their trees. Obviously, air and rain can’t get through cement or a gazebo, so your trees may be getting cut off from vital resources they need. Compacting the earth under and around your trees can easily result in their death.
Do you know when to prune your trees? If you’re not an arborist, the answer is probably no. Some species of trees need to be pruned in fall, and others will die if they’re pruned any time other than spring. Other types just don’t care. Do you know how much of a tree can you safely remove without endangering its life? The general consensus is that a trained, expert arborist can remove around 25%. A lay person shouldn’t go over 15%. This is because incorrect pruning is the number one cause of death among trees.
When a tree isn’t pruned correctly, it becomes stressed and vulnerable to disease and parasites. The worst form of improper pruning is topping. Topping refers to haphazardly cutting into the trunk in order to remove the entire crown of the tree above a certain point. Topping a tree is utterly pointless. Not only will the physical trauma and sudden shortage of food likely cause the tree to die, but if it doesn’t, your tree will go into a frenzy of growth to try and replace the lost leaves and branches. Within a year or two, most trees that survive topping regain all of their height. Any supposed landscaper or arborist that offers topping as a service should be avoided. If they’re happy to offer a service that will likely kill your trees, they’ll probably manage to murder your entire yard.
Trees are wonderful organisms, but they need to be taken care of by an expert. There are many things a layperson can do to accidentally damage or even kill their trees, so it’s a good idea to seek professional advice before making any decisions that might harm them.
Do you need some expert help with your trees or yard? The professionals at Five Star Landscaping are here to help! Call us today.