Far too often, trees in domestic settings are subject to having their health compromised as a result of many different human tendencies..
While trees can prove to get in the way of progress at times, by understanding the following you will be in better stead to be able best care for your trees and solve your problem at the same time. While of course this can’t be done in all cases, the information below is a great starting point in having an awareness of how they’re likely to respond if not cared for properly.
While there are many factors that contribute to a trees declining health.. the most common ones we’ve come across in Melbourne are:
1. Compaction of soil
Fundamentally, tree roots need oxygen, moisture and nutrients to survive. Soil compaction eliminates the chance of tree roots obtaining any of these.
The most common factors that contribute to soil compaction are cars constantly being parked under trees, landscaping works being done around trees (and no to little care being taken during the construction) and added soil/gravel around the base of trees.
As a general rule, it is underneath the trees’ canopy where tree roots are most susceptible.
There are a few exceptions to this - for instance if there is already an establish hard surface (such as bitumen or concrete), then activity above ground will most likely have zero affect on soil compaction.
2. Heavy pruning
While trees are pruned for a number of different reasons, to solve a variety of problems, there can be a tendency to over look the effect that pruning can have on a trees’ health when for instance trying to minimise leaf litter, make the tree smaller, bring more light in, make safer, etc. etc.
Now the great news is, is that more often than not the trees’ health can be maintained while solving the problem at the same time.
The bad news, well, the bad news is that it can’t be explained in just a blog post. Generally you can’t go too wrong by making lots of small cuts as opposed to few big cuts. However when in doubt, always consult an Arborist.
3. Inadequate Maintenance
One of the easiest things you can do to prolong the life of your trees is to use fertilised mulch. Far too often a trees health is compromised partly because of a lack of nutrients and moisture.
A great way to improve the aesthetics of your yard, minimise weeds and to maintain the health of your trees is to spread a 75-100mm layer of fertilised mulch around the base, under the trees’ canopy where possible.
Always keep an eye out for how your trees are doing, be mindful of any foliage dieback amongst canopies and consult an Arborist if anything is looking out of the ordinary.
Founder of Treeincarnation