10 things that can harm your trees

Tree care and maintenance is a complicated business. Trees are living organisms, and each species has its own unique set of needs. In addition to general management like tree lopping and pruning, you should always take steps to protect trees against damage and keep them in the prime of health.

Below are ten ways in which your trees can come to harm . In order to keep trees looking and feeling their best, you should enlist the help of a skilled arborist.

1. Storms and bad weather

This is perhaps the most obvious cause of tree damage. Strong winds, lightning strikes and heavy rain are often responsible for fallen branches, split trunks, and uprooted trees.

2. Improper pruning

Cutting back overgrowth is essential to maintain a tree’s health. However, cutting the wrong places can actually harm a tree more than help it. An experienced tree surgeon can prune and cut your trees in a sustainable way.

3. Wildlife

Trees are the natural home for many birds, bugs, mammals and reptiles. Most live there in harmony. However, some infestations can do more harm than good. Stripped bark, lost leaves and weakened branches all pose a danger to the tree’s health.

4. Fungus and decay

As with wildlife, the presence of fungus and bacteria is not necessarily a bad thing. However, some strains thrive on damp and rot, and they can exacerbate existing problems as well.

5. Overuse of mulch

Moist, nutrient-rich mulch is the perfect way to nourish a tree during dry summer months and protect exposed roots from sunlight, foot traffic, and dehydration. Keep mulch away from the trunk, though, as it can cause damp rot.

6. Use of chemicals

Weedkillers and pesticides are commonly used to protect plants from bugs or weed growth, especially around fruit-bearing trees and other food sources. Unfortunately, they can actually cause harm to the tree itself.

7. Overplanting

When planting trees, make sure you leave enough space for each to flourish when it reaches full size. Growing trees to close together can cause stunting, and can even lead to serious health issues in the tree’s later life.

8. DIY cavity treatments

It used to be common practice for homeowners to ‘fix’ cavities in their trees by filling with cement or another construction filler. Sadly, this causes serious damage to the tree and will certainly limit its life.

9. Screws and nails

Trees are living things, and they should not be used as convenient structures for hanging washing lines, supporting sheds, or propping up power lines. Any insertion into the tree, such as bracing, needs to be done by an expert.

10. Covering roots

Roots can extend a great distance from the trunk of a tree. As much of the root system is underground, it can be overlooked. Paving over roots is a leading cause of tree damage, as it stops water and food reaching them.

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