The decision to call in an arborist for tree advice often gets left until faced with a problem of some kind. Perhaps your trees are in decline, have outgrown their location or have a troubling pest or disease. At this point, the only solution is often a costly removal.
Check out these five great reasons to maintain the trees on your property at any stage:
Minimize Building Damage
Pruning trees and shrubs away from existing buildings or structures is called Clearance Pruning. Clearance Pruning improves air circulation reducing decay in wood exteriors and stops rubbing that can cause friction damage.
Clearance pruning around light standards increases visibility and safety at night. Overgrown trees and shrubs interfere with the intended purpose of security lights. Canopy Raising (removing lower branches) of trees, hedges and shrubs that grow close to the ground increases visibility and reduces the likelihood of someone hiding or sleeping behind the foliage.
Clearance pruning around walkways is important to allow adequate clearance for residents and the public to pass by. Removing dead, dying and diseased branches (crown cleaning) will minimize failure that may injure people or damage property. Special attention should be paid to trees near parking lots, patios and playgrounds.
Tree Health & Integrity
Young tree training smaller trees will encourage a strong framework and remove defects early. This keeps trees strong and healthy as they mature and minimizes the need for future pruning.
Containment & Aesthetics
Reducing the perimeter of the canopy by a pre-determined amount (depending on the tree or shrub) will minimize growth while maintaining the form and beauty. Called perimeter reduction, this prolongs the life of plant material to serve its function before outgrowing the location. Trees or shrubs near buildings or other structures should also be clearance pruned during the process.
With all of these pruning objectives, the sooner you begin, the better the outcome.
Do you ever wonder how you can reduce the cost of maintaining the trees on your properties?
Surprisingly, a little investment up front can save over the long run.
How is that possible?
By properly maintaining trees over the course of their lives, you minimize the costs associated with trees that become too big for their location or that decline after years of neglect.
A certified arborist can help you by suggesting plants and trees that will suit a particular location while remaining mindful of the mature size of different species. A certified arborist understands how to properly prune trees at various life stages to optimize health and train them for their location. A qualified professional can provide a site assessment and give you various options for maintaining trees & shrubs.
Caring for your trees when they are young minimizes long-term issues and reduces the potential of removing a problem tree or dealing with an emergency.
It also preserves trees so they can continue to add quality of life and value to your properties for many years.
With spring just around the corner, thoughts turn to fruit tree pruning. Here on the Wet Coast, we usually prune fruit trees in the late winter or early spring. At this time, trees are still dormant and the risk of spreading fungal disease lessens with the drier, sunnier weather. It is important to prune before buds break but after the worst of the winter weather has passed.
- Make proper pruning cuts.
- Remove no more than 25-30% of the tree’s canopy each year.
- Keep a low and spreading structure for ease of picking fruit.
- Keep the centre open to maintain light penetration.
- Maintain the vigorous sprouts and remove the weak.
Pruning for Fruit Production
By reducing and thinning out last year’s growth and spur networks, structure and light penetration is encouraged. The tree’s energy is sent to the remaining canopy and the end result is larger, nicely spaced fruit.
If a previously pruned tree has been left for many years, a renovation may be required. This involves making larger cuts with the objectives of reducing the height and opening up the remaining structure to improve fruit accessibility and light penetration. Depending on the tree, this can take a few years to complete. Once the desired structure has been obtained, pruning for fruit becomes the main objective.
Do you understand the difference between a landscaper and an arborist?
The green industry can be confusing. There is a lot of overlap between landscape companies and tree companies. Landscapers offer lawn and garden care. They can give basic tree advice.
An arborist is an individual who is trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees and shrubs.
Arborists understand how trees integrate into the landscape and around buildings. Arborists are trained in pests and disease that affect your trees. Arborists can care for your trees regardless of their size, climbing to the tops of even very large trees to prune and maintain them.
The certifications you should look for are those of the International Society of Arboriculture. Founded in 1924, the ISA promotes the professional practice of arboriculture and fosters a greater public awareness of the benefits of trees. Certified arborists are issued a certification number which can be verified at the ISA website. You should also watch for these logos when hiring:
How do you recognize good tree maintenance? Some basic principles of proper tree care include:
Young Tree Training
Have your trees properly pruned when they are young. This will result in less need for corrective pruning as they mature.
Except for removals, trees should never be climbed with spurs. Spurs damage the tree by creating wounds, entrance points for pests and disease. Learn more about spurless climbing.
Topping is a temporary and ineffective solution that actually makes a tree more hazardous in the long run.
Pruning should not alter the natural form of the tree, as a general rule. A professional should know how to obtain objectives without compromising the aesthetics of the tree.
Minimize excessive regrowth and stress to the tree by only removing up to 25% of the canopy.
Poor pruning can cause damage that lasts for the life of the tree. Take the time to find a tree company that respects your trees.