Important Information for Proper Tree Care
Top 10 Man-Made Tree Killers
This list of the Top 10 Man-Made Tree Killers is a handy guide to keep with you when discussing projects with your arborist. It's important that arborists prepare themselves with factual and modern solutions to best serve their customers. The ten most common human causes of tree death are:
- Root Damage from Soil Compaction
- Topping & Other Harmful Cuts
- Over-Thinning & Canopy Elevations
- Neighboring Tree Removals
- Planting Too Deep
- Planting in Inappropriate Locations
- Cambial Trunk Injuries
- Poor Cabling & Damage Repair
- Over-Fertilizing & Over-Treating
Topping Versus Crown Reduction
To avoid harming a tree while pruning, make sure to never top it. Topping usually ends up killing the tree because it leaves large, open wounds that are easy entrances for pathogens. In addition, topping is only a short-term solution, and you will soon have to top it once again. When you top a tree, you only transform it into a short-lived hat rack. Certified arborists know that instead of topping a tree, one should use the crown reduction technique. Crown reduction at a smaller spread and smaller height is the best solution, short of removing the entire tree.
Tips for Crown Reduction
For attractive and effective crown reduction, avoid heading cuts; never just lop off branches at a set height. Professional crown reduction uses drop-crotch pruning, in which you go down the branch to a lateral branch that is no less than one-third the diameter of the original limb and make the cut there. By doing this, you reduce the height of the tree because energy now goes into the lateral branch. The resulting wound has a better chance of compartmentalizing and forming callous tissue if you do it where there is another lateral branch.
Dangers of Soil Compaction
Many people do not know that tree roots need air to survive. When the pore space around roots becomes overly compacted with soil, it inhibits water intake and suffocates the roots, causing tree illness and even complete death. While trucks and other heavy equipment cause deadly compaction, foot traffic is also a common culprit. A well-used footpath can be as hard as concrete. Soil compaction is a frequent tree killer, so be on the lookout.
Reduce Soil Compaction & Let the Roots Breathe
Let your tree roots get the air they need with radial trenching and vertical mulching. This highly recommended remedy for soil compaction involves drilling holes around the tree's base and filling the holes with mulch. The process eases compaction without damaging the roots.