Tree Care Best Practices – June 2018: Part 4

We are in the middle of a beautiful summer season and this is when we see more and more people out in their yards taking care of their trees, shrubs, and other greenery. We think it’s a good time to go over some “best practices when it comes to your trees.

Surface impacts:

  • Wind damage: Trees develop strong anchorage only where it is needed, so trees in groups may have less secure anchorage. Removing some trees from a group will expose the remaining trees to excessive wind velocities and lead to windthrown trees.
  • Excessive pruning: Trees are pruned to prevent damage to utility wires and buildings, but careless pruning can cause tree death. When too many branches are removed or the branches have been pruned improperly, the tree may not be able to sustain itself or may experience decay.
  • Physical injury to trunk and crown: Construction equipment can injure the aboveground portion of a tree by breaking branches, tearing the bark, and wounding the trunk. These injuries are permanent and, if extensive, can be fatal.
  • Root zone impacts: Raising the grade can interfere with gas exchange and suffocate roots, and can also raise the water table and drown the roots.
  • Lowering the grade removes topsoil and feeder roots, exposing the other roots to drying and freezing. Lowering the grade can also lower the water table and cause drought.
  • Compacting the soil within the drip line blocks air and water from the roots.
  • Chemicals dumped in the soil can change soil chemistry and can be toxic to trees.
  • Cutting of roots: The roots of the tree are found mostly in the upper six to twelve inches of the soil.

In a mature tree, the roots extend far from the trunk – typically growing a distance of one to three times the height of the tree. The amount of damage a tree can suffer from root loss depends, in part, on how close to the tree the cut is made. Severing one major root can cause the loss of five to twenty percent of the root system. Trenching and excavating in the root zone can damage as much as forty percent of the root system, causing tree death within a few years.

Trees can require several years to adjust to injury and environmental changes that occur during construction. Stressed trees are more prone to health problems such as disease and insect infestation. Consulting with an arborist about continued maintenance of trees is essential, along with continued monitoring and periodic evaluation for declining health and safety hazards.

We will continue this series over the next few months covering a wide array of topics. Don’t forget, when you’re looking for the best tree maintenance company in Pasco, we’d love the chance to earn your business.

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