Hello and thank you for visiting TREES OF EDEN online.
I'm Paul H. Bokoske, owner / manager and certified arborist with the
International Society of Arboriculture.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to share with you some of my experiences and observations over the years in the TREE industry.
HAPPY GARDENING !
Sometimes our wonderful trees are undervalued and / or neglected, or subjected to barbaric pruning practices. Trees are vital to human existence and deserve proper care and appreciation. Some cities have ordinances requiring a minimum number of trees on a property. With all of the incredible benefits we receive from trees, let's reassess our obligation and commitment to this precious resource.
It is helpful to gently examine the root crown of trees (slightly below ground level) to establish there is adequate space for trunk expansion. Some objects contacting the trunk which can injure or even kill your trees are large rocks, landscape fabric / rocks, irrigation lines, burlap - twine - wire cages from balled & burlapped nursery stock, and even the plant's own girdling roots. Be certain you have no harmful trunk issues while investing time and money on your valuable trees.
Keeping the upper portion (crown) of your tree routinely thinned out and free of deadwood provides many benefits throughout the year. It is always a good practice to maintain adequate air circulation within and around your plants. Some advantages from regular crown maintenance include better sunlight penetration through tree and for turfgrass, lower disease & insect infestation, less resistance to strong winds which could cause failure, and prevention of self inflicting wounds from crossing limbs.
When receiving estimates for tree trimming on your property, choosing the lowest bid is not always the best approach. Your trees can be subjected to barbaric & unethical practices causing them great stress and gradual decline, which will predispose them to harmful infestations of insects & various diseases. To help with your decision, after required credentials have been verified, it is beneficial to obtain references or view photos of previous jobs to ensure quality work is performed on your landscape investment. The estimate process is important for your protection & the health and future of your trees.
Trees and shrubs need to utilize available oxygen and water in the soil through their roots. Both of these are basically present in pore spaces within a properly developed soil structure. When the soil is significantly compacted or flooded for an extended period of time these pore spaces are compromised and the roots are deprived of an adequate intake of oxygen and nutrients affecting the health of your plant. It's beneficial to monitor the condition of your soil and avoid excess compaction & water retention over the root zone of your trees. They will love you for it.
It is common to see various objects attached to trees for decoration, wildlife, and recreation. Whenever fasteners such as hooks, nails or screws are used to secure objects to trees, an entry point for insects and diseases is created if the vascular system (just inside the bark) is breeched. Open wounds should always be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. When ropes or wires are used to support young trees, the area of contact should be protected from abrasion or scarring and not allowed to be girdled from trunk or limb expansion. When ropes are attached higher up for swings or holiday lights strung out through crown, they should be checked and loosened or removed to prevent girdling and injury.
Trees and shrubs deserve proper pruning techniques but unfortunately this is not applied by many in the industry. Your landscape investment can instantly lose value from substandard pruning which disfigures and stresses trees. There is MUCH to say on this topic. A tree should retain it's natural beauty upon completion of the project. Quality, quantity, and timing are important when trees receive this special care. It is highly recommended to obtain credible references and view photos before moving forward with this project. When a tree has not been properly trimmed for years, it may require several annual visits to completely restore it's natural form and beauty. Please inquire for more information on pruning specifics and what expectations you should have for this type of work.
Sometimes our landscape equipment gets a little too close to tree trunks and limbs and causes damage. In the case of trunks, the culprits are usually trimmer line and mower decks, though wildlife can damage your trunk as well. It's important to use care when trimming vegetation around trees and shrubs as their lifeline is just inside the outer layer of bark. When the vascular tissues in trunks are breached, the transport channels can no longer function to sustain both the upper crown and roots of the plant. It may help to use trunk guards or a circular layer of mulch for protection and control of vegetation around the trunk. Loosen guards periodically for trunk expansion and to remove harboring insects. Also, try to keep the mulch from making contact with the trunk to avoid fungal problems. A healthy trunk is vital to the longevity and beauty of a tree.
The macronutrient nitrogen is commonly supplemented in our soil. Instant, rapid vegetative growth is not always the best approach. Following nature's cycle, we can regularly provide a tree's essential nutrients by using organic mulch which also improves the soil structure. Sometimes fill used during construction is low or lacking in essential nutrients and requires supplemental fertilization to sustain our plants. If the soil pH is high in alkaline, a mineral such as iron cannot be utilized by trees sufficiently and may need to be supplemented. Symptoms of malnutrition in a tree or shrub are usually indicated on their leaves with possible dieback as well or overall slow growth for the plant. A soil analysis should determine if essential nutrients are available along with the pH reading. If necessary, there are several methods of supplemental fertilization which can be used in recommended amounts, frequency, and time of year to keep our trees healthy and strong.
A customer's satisfaction with a tree contractor's work is only as reliable as the extent of their knowledge of proper and acceptable pruning standards in the industry. While made in good faith, a customer's approval may not take into consideration appropriate pruning times, location and angle of cuts for proper healing and aesthetic beauty, amount of live tissue removed in one year, and if negligent wounding occurred during the process. Additionally, other important concerns should be whether necessary techniques were used to benefit the tree, harmful practices were avoided, soil compaction over root zone was minimized from heavy equipment, and that other industry standards were followed. Education is helpful when considering a contractor's service and when evaluating their work afterwards. It is advisable to ask questions and state concerns regarding your trees when taking bids. Removing a few lower limbs from the trunk is only a small portion of a comprehensive pruning package which will benefit your trees immensely. Contact your local county extension office for more detailed information on acceptable pruning practices or research material from the International Society of Arboriculture. Online reviews can be misleading and usually don't offer sufficient proof of a contractor's competency in proper pruning standards.
There are many beneficial procedures and practices a person can implement to assist their trees and shrubs in maintaining good health for years to come. Always start with knowing the hardiness zone of your area and the specific recommendations for your desired plant. Consider the maximum height / width of the plant at maturity when choosing it's location in your landscape. Using proper planting guidelines is very important for it's success and longevity. To avoid costly pesticide applications, our objective should be to keep trees healthy through appropriate cultural practices and routine pruning procedures. Some of these include using an adequate layer of organic mulch for it's many benefits, adjusting the volume and frequency of irrigation water based on the temperature and season, allowing sufficient air circulation within and around your plants, and ensuring the essential nutrients are available and being utilized by the plant. Other helpful practices to implement are proper routine pruning / thinning to avoid wounding and damage from failure, minimizing or eliminating soil compaction over the root zone while improving it's structural profile, environmental awareness, wildlife & mechanical protection, and more.
It has become common for tree maintenance to be grouped together with janitorial and lawn services under one contract by businesses and corporations. While more convenient, trees are often neglected and don't receive the specialized care they need to remain healthy, add beauty, and increase the value of the property. A dedicated and quality driven arborist possesses unique skills tested and proven to benefit trees in many ways. Unfortunately, most companies who are awarded these contracts do not employ qualified arborists and are reluctant to sub-contract their tree work out to specialists in the industry. Usually the extent of their effort regarding trees is supplying water through turf irrigation and occasionally removing a few lower limbs which interfere with mowing operations. Without a trained eye and specialized attention, these trees often become infested with insects & diseases and pose a safety risk at intersections and for pedestrians. Healthy and properly maintained trees add beauty and value to business properties, and are definitely worthy of a separate account / contract under corporations with qualified, competent, and dedicated industry professionals. Let's recognize and appreciate the vast benefits we receive from trees.
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