Trees are beautiful; they increase property values, cool our buildings, and clean our air. They provide a habitat for many forms of wildlife; they help us ease stress and make us feel good.
Trees are essential for the health of our environment.
In fact, the US Department of Agriculture says that "one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of eighteen people."
A Valley Oak (Quercus Lobata) is a stately tree that can grow to 70 feet and live up to 600 years. Like all trees a Valley Oak's best insurance of a long and healthy life is a tree care plan administered by a professional.
Read on for some tips on tree management planning and a key component - proper pruning.
All the best,
|Tree Care Planning|
Your trees are a valuable asset. But they can become an expensive problem if neglected and allowed to deteriorate.
They can become safety issues during windstorm and heavy rain. Diseased or damaged trees can fall; dead or weak limbs can break away and harm people, destroy property.
Don't wait till a crisis to manage your trees. A good tree management plan will give you peace of mind and in the long term, save you money.
A tree plan is a timeline and strategy for taking care of tasks over a given period of time. It starts with an inventory and assessment of each tree. Any trees needing immediate attention based on health and safety issues are identified.
Long term management steps are determined. These include any hazards, aesthetics, pruning, pests, disease, cultural problems and any potential problems with hardscape. It also includes any long term aesthetic goals.
The results are a short and long term tree management action plan. We put this information into a spread sheet and prioritize over a specific time period along with budget numbers. The beauty of this is it creates a record of all tasks and costs - an invaluable budgeting tool!
Gardeners' Guild Account Managers are an invaluable resource and can assist you in tree care planning.
Proper Tree Pruning
Tree pruning is an important component of a tree care plan and it is vital to the health of the tree. It's really preventative maintenance and over time will enhance the character of the tree.
Most deciduous trees should be pruned during their dormant period after leaves have fallen, which is usually November, December or January. Now is the time to plan for it.
Caution - hire a professional. We have heard stories from people who hired someone lacking knowledge about correct techniques. The result can destroy the health of the tree.
Reasons for pruning: safety, the health of the tree and aesthetics.
Proper pruning cuts are made at a node, the point at which one branch or twig attaches to another.
There is a practice called "topping" which is never recommended. Topping is when a tree is cut back to a few large branches. It is sometimes done to reduce size. It seriously affects the tree's structure, appearance and re-growth is weak; it can break off during severe wind. Topping can also make the tree susceptible to pests or disease.
Thinning is a better means of reducing the size of a tree. It conforms to the tree's natural branching habit resulting in a stronger tree.