How To Prevent Mechanical Damage To Your Landscape Trees

Posted on: 14 August 2019

Whether you are reclining beneath their shade, enjoying how they act as a windbreak for your home, or simply reveling in the greenery and wildlife they attract, trees increase the value of your home. Unfortunately, disease and damage can fell even the stateliest of trees, and often these issues could have been avoided. Inadvertent damage from homeowners is a major cause of tree disease. Even a small wound can provide entry for insects, fungi, viruses, or bacteria into the heartwood of your trees. The following guide can help you avoid this.

Don't girdle the trunk

Girdling occurs when something is wrapped around the trunk and left there. As the trunk grows in width, the tie constricts around the trunk and eventually cuts off the flow of nutrients and water between the roots and the canopy. When tying or wrapping anything around a tree trunk, leave it loose if possible so that it won't cause girdling. If it must be tight, remove it at least once a year after the spring growing season so you can adjust it to the new trunk width. Also, do not use narrow ropes, as these can cut into the bark. Instead, use ropes or fabric strips that are at least 1 inch wide.

Create a no-entry zone

Weed trimmers, lawn mowers, and other pieces of equipment can cut into the bark and trunk if you accidentally run into the tree. To avoid this, create a barrier. You can simply use a trunk guard, which is a cylinder designed to slip around the trunk and provide protection. This works well on young trees with narrow trunks. For more mature trees, mulch the ground around the trunk so you won't need to mow or trim weeds too closely to the wood.

Avoid nails and screws

Even though girdling is an issue when you use straps, it can be better to use a strap rather than nail something into the tree temporarily. When you remove the nail, you will be leaving behind a wound that can attract pests or disease. For temporary items, always use a thick rope or a strap. Only use nails or screws for items you plan to leave permanently mounted onto the trunk.

Prune with care

When pruning your tree, use clean, properly sharpened saws or shears. Make clean cuts as close to the branch collar as possible. Avoid only cutting partway through a branch and then pulling it off, as this can also strip off bark. A clean cut made close to the trunk or main branch will heal much more quickly.

For more help, contact a tree care service in your area.