Your Arborist: A Primary Care Doctor for Trees
Have you ever worried about your trees during a storm? Have you ever had a tree on your property seem fine one day and appear do die suddenly? How often do you really think about your trees? Is it when it rains? Is it during a storm? Can we place a value on our peace of mind?
Soil compaction, pollutants and erosion all take a toll on tree roots and affect the health and growth of trees. Arborists are charged with the care and safety of trees. Almost all arborists are equipped to prune them to reduce risk or remove them if necessary.
Your arborist should also be equipped to make your trees healthier, to avoid or postpone their removal, to reduce the risk of storm-related failures and to prevent them from pest and disease ailments.
For an educated arborist, the foundation of tree health is a knowledge of soil properties and soil health. Typically urban soils do not have ideal conditions for trees. Trees really like the natural forest environment and thrive within those conditions. Newly planted and urban trees require a certain level of care and attention to mimic the conditions of the forest that insure a long, healthy life. This includes adequate watering, mulching to mimic the carbon input, or adding soil nutrients that have been stripped away by development.
An arborist functions like a primary care physician for our trees. A certified arborist has a useful knowledge base concerning the health of trees (not limited to knowledge of tree cutting and removal)
Our children see a pediatrician multiple times a year. Our pets require vet visits annually. We adjust our nutrition, exercise, vitamin intake, etc. so that we and our families don’t have long-term health issues. Our trees need the same proactive care. If we adjust the nutrients in the soil now OR treat a phytophthora canker before it completely devours the tree, perhaps 10 years from now that tree will be healthy and thriving rather than a threat during a storm.
If we begin to think of the trees on our property as our progeny, not just part of our landscape, but as a living thing that depends on our help for survival, perhaps we can remove fewer trees from our environment, feel safer in our homes during storms, and provide a healthier urban forest for our children to enjoy.