The Importance of Looking After Your Garden Trees

Trees can really enhance your garden, and make it a prettier, more sheltered, and calmer place to be. Not only are trees nice to look at, but they can provide shelter from the occasionally sweltering UK sun, as well as slightly more relevant shelter from our scheduled program of wind and rain. They also block sound! This is absolutely crucial if you live anywhere near roads of any form. No one likes the sound of traffic, or building sites. Having a peaceful, tranquil garden can really be an asset when it comes to unwinding from the daily grind, or when throwing a party, or simply when enjoying a barbecue. Trees also provide essential homes for squirrels, foxes and birds, which in my opinion, no British garden is complete without. As well as all that, they make oxygen, you know, the stuff we breathe? So keeping your trees healthy, functioning, and in good shape is really in everyone’s best interests. We’re going to run through a few key tips for keeping your trees in amazing shape.

Things Not Growing So Well?

The problem could well be in your soil. You should test your soil to check how acidic or alkaline it is, and whether it has the nutrients trees and plants need to grow and survive. Soil supplements and other ways of improving the quality of your soil are cheap and readily available from garden centres. This goes for all plants, not just trees, if you want nicer, healthier plants in your garden, do a little soil research.

Keep Them in Good Shape

Keeping your trees healthy is more than giving them good soil and leaving them to it, you need to keep them trimmed and fit. Tree surgeons can remove parts of the tree that are dying or dead, potentially saving it. Let’s not forget as well, you don’t want the tree growing into your house or too far out over the neighbours either. Trees can also block sunlight into your house, so consider this when having some tree surgery performed.

Make Sure You Got Their Back

A key danger to trees in the UK is ivy. Ivy grows up trees and parasitically uses them as a structure to gain easier access to sunlight. Eventually, the tree underneath starves, dies and collapses. This is why you need to keep an eye on ivy growing around the base of your trees. If you spot any, be sure to remove it thoroughly, ensuring the root is entirely eradicated so it can’t grow back. If you have trees already coated in ivy, you can cut the ivy around the base of the tree so that it dies, and then have a tree surgeon remove the tendrils to uncover the tree and allow it access to sunlight again.

Keeping your trees in decent shape really isn’t a difficult job. That’s basically the nature of trees, they’re pretty happy to be left alone to do their thing. With a little know-how, diligence and work, you can guarantee the health and sturdiness of your garden fauna and flora for years to come. Everyone loves sitting out in their garden, listening to the birds sing, in privacy and tranquil quiet. At risk of sounding like a bit of a hippie, care for your trees, man.

Is A Tree Surgeon The Right Choice For You?

Trees are beautiful, useful plants that many of us are not lucky enough to have on our property.

If we do have one or more on our property, it then becomes our responsibility to ensure the tree remains safe and healthy. Unfortunately, many tree owners will only call a tree surgeon if it is an emergency or they absolutely have to. However, if you have time to read this article, the chances are you’ve realised it might be sensible to consult an expert before things go wrong. There are plenty of reasons to enlist the services of a tree surgeon all year round.

Here are just some of the reasons a tree surgeon is the right choice for you:

Diseased And / Or Dangerous Trees Can Be Fatal

You cannot ignore the fact that a tree with unstable branches, or any issues causing its branches or trunk to potentially fall, is a very dangerous situation. If you have noticed one of your tree’s is damaged, you must call a tree surgeon immediately, however, if possible, regular maintenance is a great idea. This is because although a damaged tree may seem like an obvious danger, the tree next to it could be even more dangerous because externally it looks great, but internally it might be rotten and completely unstable. A branch snapping off a tree can cause serious damage to property, animals or people. Spotting and treating a diseased or damaged tree is something that should always be dealt with by a professional.

Tree’s Need Nurturing

All tree’s, but especially young trees need nurturing. If you have planted trees within the last five years, the chances are they still need support to help them establish a healthy root system and growth. Even established tree’s might need dead wood removing, or specific treatment for certain diseases.

Other Types Of Damage Can Cause Problems

As well as physical damage from branches falling, tree’s growing can damage their surroundings. Their roots may be too close to a drainage system, their branches may be reaching a property or power lines. The branches may hang down onto a public path. Tree surgeons can trim the trees to stop this happening, and they can prune in a specific way to try and promote the tree growing elsewhere.

Healthy Fruit Trees Make Healthy Fruit

If you use your trees for growing fruit, it is important they are free from diseases and pests. A tree surgeon can help you keep your fruit bearing trees as healthy as possible so you can keep benefitting from the best fruit.

A Tree Surgeon Is Right For You

Although the costs of a tree surgeon might seem unnecessary when your trees appear to be healthy, the costs are worth it long term to ensure:

  • Your trees stay beautiful and healthy
  • Diseased or injured trees are effectively dealt with
  • Nearby property remains undamaged
  • Animals and people walking around the tree remain unharmed

There are many reasons to hire a tree surgeon all through the year. They can spot early signs of disease, prevent accidents happening and deal with any urgent situations quickly and effectively. They can likely pre-empt issues you could have with your tree years down the line that you would have never even thought of.

Thought of doing it yourself? Please, do not do this under any circumstances. Tree surgeons study for years alongside professionals to learn their trade. There is a huge amount of physics and knowledge applied to tree surgery. Without education and training it is extremely dangerous to attempt any tree work. Make the right choice and call a tree surgeon today.

A True Professional Tree Surgeon!

If you have trees in your garden you may already be familiar with the services that a tree surgeon offers. Tree maintenance, in particular trimming, can be vital if you have large trees on your property. Without any form of maintenance larger trees can easily lose shape and even pose as a danger to people and surroundings.

Branches that grow at too much of an angle become susceptible to breaking as they have little or no support from the trunk of the tree. You don’t need a gusty day to bring down tree branches, they will eventually just fall which is dangerous if the tree is near other buildings, or where people are passing by. It is for jobs like this that tree surgeons are invaluable, as they can remove the branches safely whilst not causing any damage to the tree itself. Diseased branches can cause similar problems to those with breakages in them. A diseased branch can become weak and eventually fall, or can result in the entire tree becoming infected. By contacting a tree surgeon they will advise on the best course of action, from removing the diseased branches to treating the tree in an effort to save it.
Reasons for using a professional

There are two main reasons why it is advisable to contact a professional tree surgeon to take care of the maintenance and wellbeing of your trees:

Expertise – A tree surgeon does not just cut down trees or stray branches. Tree maintenance ranges from planting, pruning and watering to diagnosing and treating diseased trees. In each situation the tree surgeon will have the expertise to know how to prune trees (this can vary from tree to tree), the best seasons to plant new trees, and how to treat diseases accordingly. Tree surgeons are trained to keep trees healthy and to identify and correct problems that may be affecting a tree.

Safety – For those of us that are keen gardeners we may have a basic understanding of how to prune a tree, but it is unlikely that we’ll have the correct equipment and safety clothing to carry out the job. If you hire or even buy the equipment, you still won’t be equipped with the knowledge of how to use the equipment safely, or the safest way to work with a diseased or unstable tree. The potential dangers speak for themselves.

A true professional

Unfortunately there are rogue tree surgeons who will claim to be able to offer you a service which is both full of expertise and safety awareness. If you are looking for a tree surgeon, you need to be confident that they are fully trained, insured and competent in their work. Consider the following:

Quotes – When obtaining quotes, don’t assume that you have a ‘good deal’, if one is dramatically lower in price than the others. Tree surgeons are trained professionals that have high running costs to cover insurance, wages and equipment. If you are being offered a service at an extremely ‘cut-down’ price you need to ask further questions to guarantee the individuals integrity.

Qualifications – The governing body for tree surgery qualifications is the National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC). A good tree surgeon should hold the following certificates:

CS30 – Maintenance of chainsaws, on site preparations and basic cross cutting
CS31 – Fell and process of small trees
CS38 – Tree climbing and aerial rescue
CS39 – Use of a chainsaw from a rope/harness
First Aid at Work

The basics of Tree Surgery

Caring for the trees on your property is not always as easy as it may sound. If you’ve read any articles on Tree Surgery you will already know that it is a highly skilled profession, with many of the practices requiring equipment/machinery as well as knowledge and expertise in using them correctly.

As with any profession, tree surgeons have their own terminology when discussing work practices, and as a homeowner with limited or no knowledge it can seem a little daunting. Here are some of the basics that may crop up in conversation;

Crown – This is the foliage section of the tree which is formed by its branches. It does not include the tree trunk.

Deadwood – Non-living branches due to natural ageing or external influences.

Decline – When a tree displays a lack of vitality, poor leaf size or a reduction in colour this is known as the trees decline.

Coppicing – Cutting down a tree to within 12in of the ground at regular intervals.

Root pruning – Like pruning branches, the roots are pruned ensuring that the tree remains stable and does not interfere with anything else that may be in close proximity.

Bracing – Belts, ropes or cables are used to support the structure of the tree should it have become weak and unstable.

Fertilising – Applying a substance to the roots of the tree to aid and encourage healthy growth or to reduce the rate of a trees decline.

Cavity – A void in the solid structure of a tree usually caused by the trees deterioration.

Pollarding – The initial removal of the top of a young tree to encourage new growth.

When to call

Tree Surgeons work all year round. If you are responsible for the trees in/around your property it is important that you know when to contact a tree surgeon. If your tree has been severely damaged perhaps due to weathering, is growing towards a building or is not looking as healthy as you’d expect, then contact your local tree surgeon who can advise on what measures you need to take to keep the tree or alternatively to remove it completely.

In terms of caring for trees with regular pruning, most trees can be pruned at any time of the year although it is best to avoid the period where the tree is producing new leafs and is at its most active in terms of growth. Ideally do not prune if the weather is particularly cold and frosty, as pruning may leave the tree a little vulnerable until it has recovered.
If you have any queries on the health of your trees it is always advisable to seek professional advice so as not to place the tree at any risk.

Tree Surgery Forest of Dean

Have you ever wondered what is involved in nurturing a new tree into a healthy strong tree? This blog provides an overview of ‘all things tree care’, perfect if you are considering planting new trees in your garden.

Off shopping!

Do your research! Find out about the different types of trees that are available, and feasible for your garden and location. If outdoor space is limited you don’t want to select a tree that will grow to huge proportions and take over. If you need advice on the different types of trees suitable for you and your garden seek expert advice from a tree surgeon. Alternatively ask in a garden centre, use reference books or look on the internet, all wonderful resources should you need help in deciding.

Forward planning

Remember, once you’ve planted a tree the first two to three years of care will have a huge impact on the trees developing strength and shape. Those initial few years will determine the lifespan of the tree.

Location

Be mindful of utility/power lines if you have any close to your garden, and don’t plant larger trees too close to your property. Avoid the potential of your well established trees clashing with power lines, or blocking natural light in the property. After the effort and time spent nurturing your trees it would be a shame if they had to be severely pruned or even removed because of their inappropriate location.

If possible, identify the type of soil in your garden (or location you intend to plant). Most trees will flourish in any soil conditions, but there are a few varieties that require specific types of soil.

TLC = Mulching & Water

A newly planted tree will require mulch to kick-start the growth process. Mulching the soil protects the trees roots from hot and cold temperatures, it retains enough water to keep the roots moist, and it will also prevent weeds from taking root around the trees roots.

New trees will also require watering as soon as they are planted. During the first 2 years (aka the toddler stage!), the tree will be expending lots of energy whilst its roots are developing and establishing in the soil, so regular watering is essential. This is even more-true during the trees first two summers. Moistened woodchip mulch is ideal for new trees. You need to remember that too much water can have a damaging effect, so if the soil around the roots feels moist, save watering for another day.

After these first few years the tree will be well established, able to stand up to all weathers, and be able to take all the nutrients and water from the ground.

Maintenance

Pruning because you have spotted some dead wood can be carried out at any time of year. More intrusive pruning must be carried out at specific times of the year, so as not to hinder the trees growth.
Winter – The ideal time to prune most trees, once we’ve made it past the cold snap. At this time of year the tree is dormant, so a good prune will lead to a burst of energy and growth come spring time.
Summer – With experience, you can prune trees during the summer months if you are aiming to slow down a trees growth. Wait until the seasonal growth period is over before you start.

Commitment

You’ve planted your trees, nurtured them, successfully reaching the 2 year mark; what next?
Annual pruning is advised, but as your tree may have become rather large this may prove to be a difficult task, you may have times when you believe the tree has become sick, or requires some expert attention to ensure it remains in good health.
At Tree Surgery Forest of Dean no job is deemed too small, so if your trees require pruning, shaping or simply a health check please get in touch and one of our experienced team members will give you the help and advice that you need.

The Importance Of Being A Healthy Tree!

A happy, vibrant, well-nourished tree is a HEALTHY tree!

Whilst wandering around the garden you may not have noticed that a plant or two has seen better days, maybe the flower heads have dropped from one of your Hydrangea, or the neighbours’ cat has been playing in your Fuchsia so it’s no longer the vibrant splash of colour, but a splayed out patch of pinks and greens. This type of garden activity tends to go fairly unnoticed by the homeowner, yet an unhealthy dying tree can quickly become an eyesore.

Is your tree sick?

Different trees will display different symptoms if they are sick, but the common symptom shared by all is if you notice that the tree(s) in your garden have failed to produce leaves at the time of year they usually would. If the bark appears brittle and can be easily knocked off, or if you notice that branches are drying out, drooping or even falling off completely the chances are there is something wrong with the tree. Often the cause can just be the age of the tree, but referring to a tree surgeon for advice will confirm this either way.

Main causes

There are a number of factors to consider if you are trying to identify the reasons behind your unhealthy trees;
Water – Not a lack of (especially in the UK!), but a prolonged surplus of water can diminish shoot growth; rot the base of the trunk, which can eventually lead to the tree dying.

Chemicals – Many of us will douse the garden in herbicides/pesticides should we see a rise in the number of weeds that appear. If you also have trees in the garden ensure the chemicals are kept away from them, or purchase pesticides that are not harmful to them.

Insects – Insects (such as beetles), and certain bacteria’s can lead to irreversible damage to a tree which can lead to premature death.

Squirrels?! – Even the cute garden squirrel can result in an unhealthy tree. Commonly attracted to gardens where the homeowner leaves bird feed out, squirrels will sit in a tree and happily gnaw away bark from the branch. If this happens repeatedly this will weaken the tree and may cause the branch to die and drop off.

Soil – A change in soil depth or compaction can cause series damage to a tree, making it more susceptible to disease and insects. The roots of a tree take water, oxygen and minerals from the soil, so if this stops so will the tree’s nourishment.

Take action

Take a look at your trees outside. If you can spot any differences in appearance, growth, leaf density that is different to the normal cycles of change your tree goes through it is worth calling a professional tree surgeon for advice.
Given enough time a Tree surgeon may be able to save the tree by simply removing the dead sections, or the tree may have to be completely removed. If the tree is showing signs of disease, a tree surgeon should advise on what can be done to salvage the tree, assuming that is possible. If a trees decline can be linked to changes in the environment around it, the soil or water drainage, a tree surgeon can advise on the measures to take in an effort to bring the tree back to full health.