“The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” —U.S. Department of Agriculture
“A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000.” —Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers
“In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” —Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University
Many people have lost trees over the last 12 months (or will be removing them this year) because of the extreme weather of 2012 or because of the Emerald Ash Borer. Are those trees worth replacing? I think the question to ask yourself is really, “Are these trees worth replacing TO ME?” What is the value that you’re getting from the trees? Beauty? Shade? Energy savings? Property value?
If you’ve been reading some of our previous postings, you’ll know we’ve been talking about pruning lately. In our experience, a lot of pruning comes from installing the wrong tree or from planting the right tree in the wrong place. As you’re considering trees, please consider the genetics of the tree (How tall does it get? Do the branches tend to grow up or out? Is this tree a single stem or a multi-stem tree?) and also what the location provides (Is this a sunny or a shady spot? Is it near a building or a sidewalk? Does it tend to flood or be dry? What is the soil composition?) Not every tree does well in every spot. We want you to enjoy your tree for years to come and not be fighting location or genetics. Give us a call if you have questions about tree replacement! We want to make a better future for your trees!
As we have been discussing, tree growth is impacted and controlled by three general factors:
Nutrition quality/defects, which we’ll be discussing in this post.
Though Site Impacts and Nutrition quality/defects are linked, we’re discussing them separately because our experience shows that tree fertilization is either ignored or overdone. Both have consequences that produce negatives in a tree… and these negatives result in corrective pruning.
In urban and suburban landscapes, infertile soils and plant densities create stresses. Add irrigation to the mix, and many landscape are nutrient deficient. Many times, tree owners recognize the problem of deficient soils and attempt to create a solution without knowing proper fertilization methods.
Often, homeowners or site managers practice direct “hand full of fertilizer” methodology… without thought to dosage or composition. This can cause more harm the benefit: Excessive nitrogen, for example, will stimulate long leggy growth; toxic amounts will kill leaves, twigs and often whole sections of plants. Whether too much fertilizer or too little, the responses of the trees will demand corrective pruning.
Woody plants (like trees) grow best in a slow release, year-long nutrient exposure. This will insure that your trees grow as intended. Pruning will then be needed only to remove natural deadwood, crossing or interfering branches, or to free up window views or walkways.
So – Long story short: proper fertilization not only keeps your trees healthy, it promotes proper growth which reduces pruning costs! Spring is the perfect time to create a tree-care plan, so give us a call and we’ll make sure you’re making a better future for YOUR trees!
Jeff Ling is a Registered Consulting Arborist and Co-Founder of TreeMasters, Inc., a full service arbor-care company, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It services tree owners with scientific tree management services throughout Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio.