While trees are essential to both humans and the environment, their health is vulnerable to disease, pests, and storm damage. Many property owners fail to see their trees are in serious trouble until it is too late to save them. They may also do things thinking they’re helping a tree, when they’re doing harm.
Avoid these common “tree mistakes”:
1. Staking a Tree Too Long – It may be true that some young trees require staking to support proper growth and securely hold them in place against heavy winds. Nevertheless, most tree species do not require a stake for support. If they do, it is only for a short period of time. Leaving a stake on too long causes abnormal trunk growth and bark damage, resulting in insufficient food supply. The tree eventually weakens and dies.
2. Girdling – Tree owners may wrap the bottom part of a tree with plastic to protect it from lawn mowers and weed eaters. However, girdling can suffocate the tree and lead to its slow death. Surrounding the tree with mulch helps prevent weed growth and retains moisture.
3. Improper Mulching – Avoid putting mulch directly at the trunk; it can cover the roots. Without sufficient air, roots are not able to function properly. The health of a tree with poor mulching will decline, causing eventual death. Apply mulch six inches away from a young tree’s trunk and a foot away from a mature tree.
4. Tying Your Dog to a Tree – Although it may seem harmless, tying an animal to a tree can damage the tree. The dog’s leash rubs against the surface, pulling off protective bark. Bark is the tree’s first line of defense against potential disease and harmful insects.
5. Improper Pruning – Pruning helps improve the appearance of a tree by enhancing its branch structure. However, improper pruning can have a significant effect on the tree’s food production. A heavy pruned tree can show signs of stunted growth or start to die off. Pruning the tree in the wrong season can also cause the tree to become weakened and more vulnerable to disease and pests.
The benefits of having trees in our neighbourhoods and properties go beyond aesthetic beauty. For millions of years, trees have served as the “lungs of the Earth” – they breathe out oxygen and breathe in carbon dioxide. By trapping CO2 (a major contributing factor to the greenhouse effect), a tree is able to convert this gas into a food source. Let’s protect our precious greenery with proper care and maintenance.
Find a reputable local arborist to look after your trees. Call Timberlane Tree Service at (416) 878-2108 for professional tree care service in the Greater Toronto Area. Our team of highly-trained tree experts can strategically enhance the health of trees and help boost the beauty and landscape of your property.