One of the most frustrating and upsetting parts of a post-storm clean-up is dealing with a fallen tree. It takes work to saw the tree into manageable pieces and haul it away, but it's doubly painful if the tree was a beloved garden friend or significant focal point of your yard.
Fortunately, there are ways to make sure you don't lose a tree next time the winds blow hard. Take a look at these 3 ways you can keep your trees upright in your yard.
Stay Away From The Lure Of Fast-Growing Trees
You've seen them – advertisements for fast-growing trees that promise shade and privacy in only two or three years. While this may seem tempting, avoid planting these kinds of trees if you expect to have healthy strong trees in place 15 years later.
The truth is while some trees do grow extremely fast, they are much weaker and more likely to fall down than slow-growing trees. Speedy growth is, unfortunately, synonymous with weak wood and shallow root systems unable to withstand high winds, kids, and the test of time. Here are a few popular trees to steer clear of:
- Mimosa tree
- Empress tree
- Black walnut
- Bradford pear
If you must have quick shade while waiting for slow-growing trees to reach more lofty heights, only plant fast-growing trees as a temporary fix. Then, to prevent the possibility of fallen trees, plan on removing them after a few years. If you already have these trees growing on your property, remove them now before they decide to do it for you.
Plant New Trees In Their Sweet Spot
To help a new tree get a firm rooting in the ground, how and where you plant it really does make a difference. The right tree site is one where a tree can reach its full size, both in canopy and root system. Because of this, don't plant too close to other structures like buildings, power lines, concrete street curbs and large areas of concrete. These structures can inhibit growth and weaken a tree, plus take a big hit in terms of damage if the tree falls down.
Make sure you read the planting instructions that come with your tree, taking special care to place the root ball – where the roots come out of the trunk – just right in the hole. Loosen the root ball carefully and place it just above soil level. An extremely high or low root ball results in weaker roots, and compacted roots cannot grow new ones or gather nutrients properly from the ground.
Once planted, be careful about what's going on in the yard around the root system. Large construction projects like sewer line repairs or new sprinkler installations have the potential to cause root damage. A large cut to a root will slowly rot, inevitably weakening the tree.
Take Care Of Trees You Already Have
One of the main reasons trees fall over in strong winds is problems with their canopy. A tree's canopy can act as a sail on a sailboat, so taking proper care of the canopy by pruning it will help a tree remain upright. Pruning and trimming will help if a tree has significantly more canopy on one side than the other. Even a tree already leaning can be saved by having an expert prune it the right way.
How much you water your tree can cause a tree to fall over. Often, over-watering turns the soil to mud, leaving little or no stability for roots. Overly-saturated soil can cause roots to rot and die, forcing remaining live roots to grow too near the surface. Both instances make a tree unstable.
There are ways you can make sure your trees grow strong and healthy. Planting the right type of tree in the right location while properly caring for it from root to crown will help your trees weather any storm and last for years. For more information about taking care of your trees, visit the experts at AAA Tree Service. We serve the Sacramento and Elverta areas.