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Richmond Hill Arborist Dispels Three Tree Care Myths


Everyone carries around knowledge they've picked up from school, books, the Internet, people, and other sources. Because of the informal way information gets spread around, some of it may be less than accurate. This includes knowledge about tree care. Here are three common tree care misconceptions:

If a Tree Looks Healthy, It Is Healthy

This is a very common sense notion. However, appearances are sometimes deceiving. It can take years for a tree to show signs of stress. Trees store energy reserves in the form of sugars and starches from which they can live when they're unable to get basic necessities.

For example, insufficient water because of a prolonged drought, or insufficient sunlight because of excessive vine growth on their trunks and limbs will not kill them outright. Trees will continue to appear healthy for perhaps two or three years before they show signs of their stress.

Topping a Tall Tree Makes It Safer in a Storm

Reducing its height this way might reduce its risk of getting blown down by a storm in the short-term. But the re-growth of a topped tree is structurally weaker than the original vertical stem and branches that were cut off.

Topping a tree reduces the foliage it needs for photosynthesis. This reduces its energy production capacity. The tree also uses much of its stored energy growing new leaves. This leaves little energy for resisting disease such as tree rot, which weakens the tree's structure and therefore makes it more vulnerable to storm damage.

A Fence Around the Base of a Tree Provides Complete Protection

This would certainly protect against deer and lawn mower damage. However, the tree's root system can extend well beyond its drip-line. Nearby trench digging to lay piping or construction of a driveway can damage these roots, compact the soil, or otherwise prevent the roots from getting the moisture and oxygen needed for the tree's survival.

Get in touch with a Richmond Hill arborist for answers to your questions about proper tree care. Contact us at Advanced Tree Care.