"top" trees because the trees grow into utility wires,
interfere with views or sunlight, or grow so large that they worry
the landowner. Sometimes homeowners believe that cutting the top
off of the tree is the answer, but this process is many times self-defeating.
main branches back to the stubs is incredibly detrimental to the
health of the tree, and cutting more than 1/4 of the tree's trunk
and upper branches may kill the tree. The ugly, bushy, weakly attached
limbs that grow in place of the topped off area of the tree grow
back higher than the original branches, blocking any view initially
gained or growing right back into the power lines that were meant
to be cleared.
can remove excessive growth without the problems topping creates.
Many arborists say that topping is the worst thing you can do for
the health of a tree. It starves the tree by drastically reducing
its food-making ability and makes the tree more susceptible to insects
or cutting your tree, it is important to remember how a tree should
be maintained to continue a healthy life in your yard and neighborhood.
danger that often befalls trees in residential and city neighborhoods
is damage done to trees by weed wackers and lawnmowers. When cutting
along a tree, it is important to avoid damaging the bark of the
tree. This part of the tree helps conduct water to the higher branches,
therefore damaging it weakens the tree and invites disease.
an important aspect in maintaining healthy trees in ones yard. A
good layer of mulch can be a tree's best friend, insulating soil,
retaining moisture, preventing weed growth and soil compaction and
reducing lawnmower damage to the lower half of the trunk. Mulch
is also asthetically pleasing, giving a yard a pleasant atmosphere
as well as protecting the tree.
the conditions available to a tree on the forest floor. Ample fertilization
available from the decaying mulch reproduces similar conditions
in wooded areas. Considering this, a tree owner must attempt to
cover good portion of the root structure of the tree with mulch.
should remove all grass within 3 to 10 feet in diameter, depending
on the size of the tree. Wood chips or bark pieces should then be
added 2 to 4 inches deep within the circle prepared around the tree.
Mulch should not physically touch the trunk of the tree, but should
fill the area immediately around it without touching the trunk.
Watering Your Trees
The most important aspect of keeping a healthy tree is watering
your new tree. Watering your tree with approximately 10 to 15 gallons
of water once per week from March until the end of October. 10 gallons
of water is the equivalent of 10 minutes of water running slowly
from your garden hose.
When the weather
is excessively hot, a street tree will need at least15 gallons of
water each week, applied in 2 separate waterings: 10 gallons one
day and 5 gallons a few days later. If your tree pit does not have
a drain grate protruding from the soil, pour the water into the
crack running between the curb and the sidewalk. Cultivating the
soil allows water to seep to the roots, and adding mulch will conserve
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