How can you improve the health of your trees? Even though it may seem like your trees can take care of themselves, these living parts of your yard need special care and attention. Help your trees to stay healthy and take a look at the top tips for keeping them safe.
Don’t Nail Items Into Your Trees
Do you have plans to hang a birdhouse, build a treehouse, or use your tree to hang a sign? Nails, screws, bolts, or other similar hardware can damage your trees. This could include:
- Cambium layer damage. The cambium layer lies under the bark and helps to move water and nutrients—allowing your tree to live, grow, and flourish. A nail or screw can penetrate the trees bark and into this layer. Wounds to this area can impact the tree, depending on the severity.
- Compartmentalization. Damage to a tree’s internal layers can result in compartmentalization. These walls stop decay and help the tree to treat injuries. Even though they serve a purpose, the walls can result in structural problems inside the tree.
- Pests. If you hammer a nail or drill a screw into the tree’s trunk, and then remove it, the hole that’s left behind provides the perfect entry for pests.
- Disease or decay. The holes nails and screws leave behind don’t only leave your tree open to a pest problem. Leftover holes are external damage that may allow diseases to enter the tree.
The best way to avoid these issues is prevention. Choose alternative methods or spaces to hang outdoor items. If your tree has an existing nail or nail hole, contact an Arborist. The Arborist can inspect the area and determine the extent of the damage (if any).
Do Give Your Tree Space
Even though you may want to populate your yard with plenty of plants, this practice can force your trees into competition with their outdoor neighbors. The result may include:
- Nutrient deficiencies. Too many trees or a combination of trees and other plant-life makes your greenery compete for nutrients. This can starve your trees, leave them with yellowed leaves, make it difficult for tress to flower or produce fruit, and lead to weak foliage.
- Water deficiencies. Your yard’s trees need more than just nutrients to survive. They also need plenty of water. Too many trees (or too many trees and plants) in one area can force each tress/plant to compete for water.
- Poor air circulation. Trees and plants placed in close proximity reduce overall air circulation. Lack of air circulation lead to fungal or other disease.
- Pests. While closely grouped trees and plants won’t necessarily cause pests, poor spacing can make an unwanted invasion more likely. The close proximity allows pests to easily move from tree to tree, damaging your entire yard.
If you’re not sure how much space your trees need or how many trees to plant in your yard, talk to a professional. An Arborist can evaluate the area and help you to decide what and how much to plant.
Don’t Attempt to Prune or Treat Your Trees
While attention is important, you shouldn’t tackle major tree-related projects on your own. Routine services (such as pruning) and damage control are best done by a professional. A do-it-yourself job could cause:
- Safety is a primary factor in tree removal and other similar services. The contractor has the experience and expertise necessary to minimize safety hazards. A fallen branch or tipped trunk could cause a serious injury—especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Tree damage.Do you know how to properly trim a tree? Failure to prune your tree and cut down branches correctly could damage your tree. A professional tree service knows how to prune/trim with the tree’s safety in mind.
- Aesthetic issues.Physical damage isn’t the only reason not to prune/trim your tree yourself. A few wrong cuts could throw off the aesthetics of your outdoor area.
- Insurance issues.Qualified tree service professionals should carry insurance. This protects them (and possibly you) against injury and property damage-related claims. A DIY job will make you liable for any damage falling branches or a trunk causes to your property or someone else’s.
- Ongoing service.Your trees may not only need one service. Unless you plan to remove the tree completely, you may need the contractor to return annually to prune the trees.
How should you choose a tree service? If this is your first experience with tree removal or pruning services, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor for referrals. Ask each potential contractor if they have a Certified Arborist on staff and customer references. You may need to get a few different estimates before you decide on one contractor.