Most Common Tree Care Myths

July 24, 2017

Have you come across pieces of information regarding tree care that just seems far-fetched? There are countless myths out there that, unfortunately, many folks take to heart. In this blog post, we will take a look at a handful of them.

  1. Tree root systems extend deep below the ground – Most people don’t realize that the large supporting root system near a tree’s base quickly tapers into smaller roots. Interestingly, the majority of a tree’s roots are concentrated in the upper few inches of soil. It’s actually pretty rare for roots to extend at depths more than a few feet. The best way to maintain your tree’s health is often by protecting these upper layers of soil.
  2. It’s best practice to prune as much as possible – Is your tree overgrown or too close to nearby properties? If so, your first thought may be to consider a hefty amount of pruning as a solution. However, significant pruning can lead to the production of vigorous sprout growth. This essentially consumes the tree’s limited energy supply, weakening its natural defenses. At Tree Pro Service, we advise that Chicago residents avoid recurring tree pruning and trimming, as the constant removal of limbs and branches tends to shorten the life of certain trees.
  3. The most effective way to manage the size of your tree is by topping – You may already be somewhat familiar with this technique, but topping involves the removal of a main stem’s upper portion. We routinely come in contact with homeowners who see topping as the quickest possible way to handle an overgrown tree. But really, topping just leads to serious injury for a tree and results in long-term, structural consequences. How can what seems like an innocent technique turn into such a disaster? Well, topping reduces a tree’s energy producing capacity, as well as its ability to fend off disease. We’ve also seen cases where topping creates a denser foliage crown through rapid re-growth, requiring frequent maintenance for restructuring.
  4. Making pruning cuts close to the trunk speeds up the healing process – Are you ready for a little-known fact about trees? As opposed to humans, trees don’t have the ability to heal on their own. Instead, trees are resorted to only covering their injuries with new layers of wood. In order to minimize decay and enable the closing of wounds, it’s best to not penetrate the tree trunk, but rather retain the slightly raised areas surrounding the base of most branches.
  5. Tree wound dressings are the end-all solution – There’s a wide selection of tree tars, paints, and other sealants that claim to help trees in their recovery process. But really, these don’t prevent disease, decay, insect infestations, or promote the closing of wounds. If you were to ask an ISA-certified arborist, they might actually say that tree wound dressings do more harm than good. So avoid the temptation of these sealants and leave the wounds open. As aforementioned above, while the tree may not be capable of healing, it will be able to cover its injuries.
  6. The best way to prevent or stop decay altogether is with the application of fungicide – Tree care experts will tell you that trees reduce decay by forming internal chemical barriers at the time of and after wounding. It’s important to know that the effectiveness of this process depends on your tree’s genetics and health at the time of injury. Contrary to popular belief, applying a fungicide to a cavity or wound will not stop decay. Many times, it only puts more stress on the tree.
  7. There’s no problem with adding quality topsoil around a tree – A handful of homeowners wish to add soil at the base of their trees for whatever reason. Just know that a tree’s base must remain at the appropriate depth in relation to the surrounding soil grade. It may seem like an innocent idea, but too much soil, grade changes, and root loss from excavations or frequent cultivation all have serious consequences that may include tree decline or death.
  8. It’s best to play it safe and not bother with trying to maintain my trees – We don’t give urban trees enough credit. They are forced to spar with limited rooting areas, confined spaces, pollution, soil, compaction, asphalt, etc. Just as your lawn and garden need attention, so too does your tree.
  9. All tree care services are the same – While one tree company may offer similar services to another, the two will not be the same. There are noticeable differences in terms of affordability, experience, quality, and professionalism. Plus, don’t just assume that a tree service has the proper licensing and certification. Do yourself and your tree a favor by asking for this kind of information.
  10. Inclement weather is the worst enemy of trees – Do you rarely look closely at your trees? You could be one of the many homeowners who only notice your tree’s appearance following a bad storm. Then again, you could also be the victim of trying to do too much with your trees, causing further damage. As a homeowner, you want to find that happy medium in terms of taking care of your trees. If you feel as though your tree could use some trimming or pruning, leave it in the hands of a professional. The experienced team at Pro Tree can also be your reliable source for effective tree removal services and land clearing.

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