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  • Gary Zimmerman

Tree Trimming - Why?

Tree Trimming - Why?

May 29, 2014

Tree Trimming 101

As a professional arborist, one of the most common questions I am asked is, "Why do I need to trim my trees?" Except for the obvious reasons of limb damage or major overgrowth, most folks don't really think too much about regular maintenance of their trees. For the ones that do, most believe that tree trimming is strictly about aesthetics (the beauty of the tree), which is a valid reason, but to a greater degree and more importantly, we want to focus on the health of the tree first. This is the reason why my first blog is about tree trimming/pruning. To address all of the reasons why we in suburbia need to trim our trees and to inspect them more often then just after a storm. Preventative maintenance may make the difference between the life and death of your trees. Another common question asked regularly is, "In the forest, trees do not get trimmed; so why do we need to trim the trees in our yards?" The most obvious reason is for the safety of ourselves and our property. If a tree falls in the forest, most likely nobody is going to get hurt. If a tree falls in your yard, this could be very costly. If you are fortunate enough to escape bodily injury, you most likely will suffer property damage, at the least. Also, the forest floor is an entirely different beast (eco system) than your yard. The forest floor is much more nutrient rich and capable of sustaining the massive root systems of most trees. Lets explore some more reasons why we need to perform regular maintenance on our trees. Neighborhood Trees More common than not, the trees in your neighborhood are planted on unstable ground. Let me explain. First comes the home builders/developers and a long list of sub contractors and all of their heavy machinery. They turn and churn everything in the development. They turn the forest floor into a freshly prepared landscape that is ready for suburbanites to reside. This is all well and good, but if you look a bit closer, you will notice that builders can inadvertently leave debris on the sites; leaves, bricks, plumbing pipes, wires, treated wood, metals and more all mixed in the landscape; not to mention the normal obstacles like sidewalks, foundations, etc. Debris in the soil is not very conducive for tree growth. Don't believe me? Go out into your yard and start digging. Chances are that you will run into a left over brick or some other construction material pretty quickly. Why is this a problem? Roots. Roots are the heart of your trees. Roots need room to freely expand and go wherever they want or need to go. All of that debris hinders that effort and in many cases is the real cause of the short life of the trees in your yard. Proper trimming will improve the life of your trees that suffer from this type of problem. Though the damage is already done at the root level, we can counter-balance the issue with good trimming to give the tree the best chance for survival. You may be thinking to yourself , "surely a landscaper would have inspected the hole that he planted a tree into, right?" Most likely, they did. The issue is that the roots are going to grow into a much larger area than what was initially inspected at planting time. The roots may not encounter a problem until years later, after the roots reach debris at a greater depth, etc. You may also be thinking to yourself, "How in the world could trimming help a tree with this kind of issue at its roots?" Glad you asked. Proper trimming leads to a healthier tree. Healthy trees can fight off problems such as root issues, disease, insects, etc. Fertilizer - most residents fertilize their grass without ever giving thought to what that fertilizer might do to the trees. Most think that if it is good for the grass, then it must be good for the trees, right? Not necessarily. Some fertilizers work against the natural efforts of the trees growth process. Trees get most of the nutrients they need naturally from the soil and rainfall, but in some cases they might need extra nutrients and even some chemicals to help correct some issues. Wind and rain - do you think that wind affects trees in suburbia the same as in the forrest? Nope. In the forrest, the trees are protected by neighboring trees, so the wind doesn't cause nearly as much damage. How about the rain? In the forrest, there are no specially design drainage systems, but natures own drainage system which is much more conducive for the health of the trees....they need a lot of water to support all of their leaves. In your neighborhood, your city has spent millions of dollars designing and installing special drainage systems. Although these drainage systems are necessary, they are not very good for the health and longevity of your trees. The Answer Trees in suburbia are out of their natural habitat. Because of this, trimming/pruning is necessary. Arborists are here to help you with this issue. We understand all of the above mentioned things and do our best to keep your trees healthy in city environments. Consider hiring an arborist....we really do know what is best for your trees. We are trained to perform proper tree trimming techniques that are proven to be effective. Your trees need regular maintenance by a professional BEFORE you have serious issues that may lead to tree removal or property damage. Summary Trees add great value to your property if they are well maintained and healthy. In the suburbs, we need to perform regular maintenance on our trees to keep them this way. There are more reasons to trim your trees, but for the sake of brevity, we'll stop here. Comming Soon Tree Trimming - How? Stay posted....really good stuff coming your way soon from Tree Masters Tree Service. Written by Gary Zimmerman of Tree Masters Tree Service, licensed arborist and tree enthusiest. Visit our website for more studies on tree care

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