Trees are good at taking care of themselves, but sometimes they need a little extra TLC to prevent hazards and stay healthy. Unfortunately, there are countless tree care myths out there that do more harm than good. If you want to keep the trees on your property in good shape, know the truth about these myths.
Top 4 Tree Care Myths Busted
1. Dress Tree Wounds to Promote Healing
This is one of the most common myths. If a tree is wounded, either in a storm or from improper pruning, many people will tell you to “dress the wound” with a special paint to speed the healing process. Unfortunately, trees cannot heal themselves the same way humans and animals can. Rather than repairing the wound, trees wall it off in a process known as compartmentalization. Wound dressings won’t prevent rot or decay, and may even slow or prevent compartmentalization, leaving the tree susceptible.
2. Cut Branches So They’re Flush With the Trunk
Pruning is a common tree care task to remove dead branches and improve ground clearance. Many people believe any branches removed should be cut flush with the tree trunk. Unfortunately, doing so creates a larger wound, leaving the tree vulnerable to decay, pests, and disease. Instead, you should leave the branch collar, or the part of the branch that meets the tree, in place.
3. “Topping” Is the Best Way to Trim Trees That Are Too Tall
Topping is a common practice in some urban areas to keep tall trees from interfering with power lines. The process involves chopping off the highest branches, often creating an unnatural shape. Not only does it create an eyesore, but it also weakens the tree and hinders its ability to absorb nutrients. Topped trees are more susceptible to decay, disease, and other problems, and usually must be removed due to hazards they present.
4. Deep Root Fertilization Is Required
When people think of tree roots, they often envision a deep root system that mirrors the tree top. As such, deep root fertilization has become a common tree care practice. In reality, most root systems are shallow, staying closer to the surface where there are more oxygen and nutrients. Placing root fertilizer more than 8 inches beneath the soil is a waste because most roots don’t reach that deep.
For all your tree care needs, turn to the professionals at Stietz Tree Service. For more than 27 years, they've provided businesses and homeowners in Darlington, WI, with tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding and removal, and more. Their tree care experts also perform diagnostics on diseased or infested trees, and do assessments and tree removal following storm damage. Visit their website or call (608) 776-3678 to request a free quote.