For those of you who fall into the later category, this blog is for you.
Today, we’re going to give you a few quick examples of what to look for in a strong, healthy tree. Sometimes identifying what’s NOT WRONG with your trees can help you better identify the potential threats in your yard – so without further adieu, here are the five components of a strong tree.
Single Central Stem
While you will get the occasional outlier species (like a birch for example), a single stem should account for about half of the overall mass of the tree. That means one, central, robust, strong stem. If it’s beginning to branch off early off on it’s way up the trunk, the chances are you have a tree that might have some defects. So if the trunk is singular and strong – the chances are your tree is set up to be healthy.
A healthy, strong branch is one that’s a little less than half the diameter of the plant’s overall stem at the point where the two are attached. Tiny branches are a fact of life, but you always want to make sure that you’re seeing proportional growth up and down your tree.
Everything that thrives in the plant world usually needs space to do it in – and the same holds true with your trees. Make sure your branches aren’t clustered too closely. If they are, they’ll throw off the weight distribution of the tree and that can lead to added stress, breaks and rarely – structural threat. So make sure those branches have room to breathe.
Whenever you’re looking at branches, always make sure that the joints at where they’re beginning to grow on the tree are strong. The thinner or more flimsy the attachment, the weaker the bark can become – and as a result, you’ll get those occasionally threatening longer branches that have a knack for getting too close to your cars, trees and open spaces where people like to frolic and the like. This can pose a danger. Also – if the bark and trunk become what we call ‘squeezed’ – that means nutrients and other life-essentials won’t be able to travel as freely – which can lead to eventual death and other structural deficiencies.
Broad Foliage Distribution
Good foliage distribution is foliage that covers at least 2/3’s of the stem of each branch. Keep a particularly close eye on the lower branches, as they can encourage stronger diameter growth that leads to a better overall taper.
So be sure to keep an eye out for these five key performance indicators as to whether your tree is set up for a healthy future. It also doesn’t hurt that if and when you call a pro for any job, that you have them take a look at any trees you think might not be meeting these criteria. That way, if there are any genuine issues, you can get out ahead of them.