At its best, tree care begins before the plants are installed.
Proper species selection for the given site and proper installation are critical to ongoing vitality. Many health issues can be avoided if these steps are completed well.
Once the plants are established, the focus shifts to keeping your trees and shrubs healthy so as to minimize the probability of future trouble. It also shifts to proactively identifying and preventing potential problems before they happen. It is much like human health; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
This approach is especially important when it comes to trees for the following reasons:
- Trees provide a whole host of benefits that improve our quality of life and our planet (clean air, soak up storm water runoff, clean water, reduce asthma, increase hospital recovery times, reduce heat island effect, and about 1,000 other benefits).
- Mature healthy trees increase your property value, often by as much as 20%.
- Having to remove a tree is costly (typically more costly than tree care services) and you lose the benefits mentioned above.
If a plant is already in decline or has other issues, a tree care program looks for solutions that can
- solve the immediate problem and
- uncover the underlying health issues that led to the immediate problem.
A tree care expert needs extensive knowledge to identify, assess, and remedy plant issues.
He or she must have a complete understanding of plant biology, nutrients, soil, insects, diseases, fungi, and a variety of other living and non-living factors.
Here are some tree care services an expert will often prescribe:
- Disease and insect control
- Target pruning
- Mulch volcano removal/root collar excavation
- Soil improvement program (must have a focus on rejuvenating the soil food web)
- Regular inspections
- Aeration and alleviating soil compaction issues
- Cabling and bracing
- Lightning protection systems
- Construction management
A good care program should result in trees and shrubs that are able to live healthy lives without requiring constant help. Some ongoing care and maintenance will certainly be necessary. But if your tree care provider has to treat for the same issues year after year, he has missed something important.
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