We also tend to make mistakes because sadly - there’s a lot of misinformation out there about how to handle certain scenarios. The internet being how it is, it’s important to try and learn as much as you can so you don’t put your trees in any undesirable situations.
Because of that, we’re going to address a few tree care myths or concepts that are out there and help shed some light on some of the common questions we get. Hopefully, these sage words of advice will help you make better decisions next time you need to care for your tree. Let’s jump right in.
Girdling is something folks do that involves removing a thin ring of bark from around a tree. People do it to fruit trees with the hopes of the tree growing more fruit. Yes, it can be effective, but does it do more harm than good?
The answer is - yes, it does. And it can kill trees if done improperly. Cutting bark severely restricts the movement of nutrients in your tree and when your roots are cut off from their food source, you’re essentially killing your tree. Also any opening in the bark can leave your tree susceptible to any number of pests and other unwanted guests who can have an adverse effect on your tree and it’s surroundings.
Should I mulch around a tree’s trunk?
There’s no doubt that mulch is incredibly beneficial to tree and plant growth. The benefits are numerous. So much so, that some people get a little bit overenthusiastic.
Yes, you should mulch around a tree’s trunk but you always need to make sure you’re leaving some space. When mulch piles up directly on a tree’s trunk, it creates a lot of moisture - which leads to decay. And when the foundation of the tree isn’t sound, nothing else is, either.
That’s why it’s important that whenever you mulch, that you leave about 2-3” between your tree and the mulch around it. That way, you won’t be trapping too much moisture and giving your tree all the benefits that mulch has to offer.
Can I plant trees close together?
Should you bunch ‘em up? Yes or no?
The answer is - no. Trees, just like humans - need their own, personal space. When they’re too close together they compete with each other for water, nutrients, and other resources. Roots sprawl out and intertwine, which also can stunt growth. In the end, all you’re doing is creating a scenario where it becomes difficult for trees to thrive. Try to give considerable space between trees when planting them (the distance itself depends on what you’re planting). Trees don’t need to be across the yard from each other, but without enough room to grow, they can fail.
Is it OK to build over or cover a tree’s roots?
Some folks don’t like the sight of tree roots and even sometimes count those spaces as places where they can build something to both serve some sort of utilitarian purpose or hide something unsightly. Is this OK?
To be honest - it really depends. Obvious things like concrete should always be a no-go. Other structures and materials can be used, but always keep in mind that when roots are growing and in need of space - they’ll find it. And if it’s just the appearance of the roots, themselves that is bugging you, there are plenty of other, more effective ways to camouflage root systems - ranging from cosmetic to practical. Just get on the phone with a local arborist and they’ll be able to let you know what your options are.
Hopefully, these tips will help shed some light on a few existing myths out there in the tree care world. If you have a problem you’re unsure of what the answer is; give us a call today and we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation. Good luck!