Killing Your Trees.
Did you know that most trees live up 50-100 years on average? The famous red cedar from Alaska can live up to 3,500 years under the right environmental circumstances.
But how to care for trees in your backyard? What can you do and what you should not do to protect your beloved trees? This article discusses a few things that you should avoid when it comes to caring for your trees, so keep reading.
Killing Your Trees: 1. Putting Mulch Too Close to the Tree
Adding mulch to the base of the tree is the right thing to do, whether you have a young or mature tree. However, make sure that the mulch is not too close to the tree trunk because this might cause suffocation.
Expert gardeners recommend adding mulch approximately 6 inches away from the tree trunk. At the same time, you should keep the mulch about one foot away from the trunk of a mature tree. This ensures proper ventilation and prevents the tree trunk from suffocating during hot summer days.
Killing Your Trees: 2. Tying the Dog to Your Tree
Many homeowners have dogs in their yard. Most of these dogs live in dog houses, but sometimes you might see a dog owner tying his pet to a tree. This is done for various reasons and it might appear to be a harmless thing to do.
However, dogs will rarely just sit there and do nothing for hours on end. A dog will eventually pull and tug at the tree. In this case, the dog can cause significant damage to the tree bark. Remember that the tree bark is one of the most important defence mechanisms of a tree.
Even minor damage to the tree bark can predispose your shrub to attacks from pests. Therefore, make sure that you do not tie your dog to a tree and your dog will probably be happier too. This piece of advice is true regardless of the type or age of your tree.
Killing Your Trees: 3. Putting Concrete in Tree Cavities
This is another bad habit that could damage the health and wellbeing of your tree. In some cases, trees might develop cavities, and this can predispose them to diseases and pests. Some homeowners think that it is a good idea to pour concrete in tree cavities to fill them up and protect the tree.
This is bad because most trees will heal themselves if you give them enough time. Adding concrete is like introducing a foreign substance into your body. It can cause problems and there is no easy way to ever remove the concrete from the tree cavities in the future.
If your tree develops cavities, just make sure that you protect it against pests or wildlife animals that might cause it harm. Young trees especially will heal themselves and fill up these cavities in a few weeks under the right conditions.
4. Hammering Nails or Screws to the Tree
Homeowners might do this for various reasons. For example, some of them might try to hang bird feeders from a tree. Others pick a large tree and attempt to build a large treehouse to entertain their kids.
Although these are not bad things to do, adding nails or screws to a tree can seriously damage its health. It is like having a metal piece in your body. The nails might cut through vital areas of your tree, disrupting the flow of nutrients, slowing down the growth of a tree, and predisposing it to diseases.
Even if you try to go for smaller nails, the situation is the same. Any foreign object or substance forced inside a tree will affect its health. If you want to hang bird feeders, hang them on a sturdy branch without using nails or screws.
5. Planting Trees Around Power Lines
Electricity companies never liked the combination of power lines and trees. You never know when a storm can push the branches of a tree into the power lines and cause serious damage. On top of that, an entire street might remain without electricity and this can cause a lot of frustration and anger.
Ideally, you should keep power lines in mind when planting trees. Avoid putting a tree under an important electricity hub and try to guess how tall a tree might grow when it is fully matured. If you already have trees that are dangerously close to power lines, consider trimming their branches.
Not only branches can get entangled on power lines, but wildlife animals residing in trees can also cause problems. Adventurous squirrels can easily jump from a tree on a power line and get fried. They might cause a blackout at the same time as well.
6. Adding Salt Near the Tree
It is a common practice to add salt on the streets in winter times. This prevents skidding and slipping, especially when it snows too much, and the temperatures drop suddenly. However, salt close to your trees can be a real problem in the spring.
Keep in mind that salty soil does not allow the growth of plants, grass, and trees. A soil that has absorbed salt is virtually toxic for every organic matter. If you plan to add salt to your driveways and walkways, make sure that you avoid adding it too close to the roots of your trees.
If your local authorities are adding salt to the streets as a preventative measure, try to cover the areas surrounding your trees with a piece of cloth. This should prevent most of the salt from getting into the soil and jeopardize the wellbeing of your beloved trees.
Taking Care of Your Trees Can Raise Property Value
Yes, you read it right. Your trees are unbelievably valuable for your property and well-maintained ones can increase the value of your house. That is because they provide shade on hot summer days, improve air quality, and also add to your home’s curb appeal.
These are just a few tips on how to properly care for your trees and avoid significant damage in the long run. Make sure that you check out the other articles on our blog to learn more about different types of trees, how to care for them, and how to prolong their lifespan.
Article was written by Conner D.
Article Source: https://www.graftingardeners.co.uk/killing-your-trees/