Myths and misconceptions about tree care abound in every part of the world. Naturally, every homeowner wants to ensure that the trees on their property always look perfect. To achieve this feat, you usually find yourself asking for advice from other people or searching for information online that turns out to be false old wives’ tales.
Notably, employing the wrong tree care practices can damage your precious tree, so it is important to ensure that you always use safe and proven techniques. These are the top 10 tree care myths you need to know and why you should avoid taking them as the gospel truth.
1. Trees that have just been planted need to be pruned aggressively to combat root loss
Some tree experts advise homeowners to prune newly planted trees aggressively to reduce the volume of water that evaporates through the leaves. Water indeed gets lost through the pores on the leaves. However, you should be aware that trees require as many leaves as possible to make the essential nutrients that the tree needs to stimulate root growth. Trees with many leaves grow better and develop a large root network and many leaves. It would be nice if you restrict tree pruning to shaping the tree and eliminating ruined or dead branches.
2. It would be best if you filled a tree cavity with concrete to promote healing
The myth about filling the gap in trees with concrete has been around for many years, and people used to consider it beneficial. The reasoning behind it was that using concrete to fill the gap is a harmful practice that could strengthen the weakened tree.
But, it has now been established by scientists that this habit is harmful to a tree. As the filled tree sways in the wind, the inside of the tree develops wounds due to abrasion caused by the concrete block in the tree that remains stationary. Diseases and decay can affect the tree through the new wounds.
3. Tree topping is good since it improves the health of non-thriving trees and minimizes the fall danger
The truth is that tree topping is dangerous for any tree. Actually, this practice creates more fall risk because new growth is usually badly attached. Additionally, tree topping substantially decreases a tree’s capacity to photosynthesize and generate nutrients for the tree, making it more vulnerable to insect attacks and disease.
Many homeowners believe that this practice is the greatest way to control their established trees. Even though it provides a convenient solution, it is dangerous and causes more harm to a tree’s health in the long run.
4. Trees that have just been recently planted must be staked
The truth is that staking trees depends on a tree’s species. Some species require physical support to maintain the erect position. Such trees need stakes. On the flip side, if you stake a tree that can stand properly without the need for reinforcement, you can weaken it. Staking is crucial in windy places and if a tree requires assistance in maintaining an upright posture. Staking is mostly recommended for a young tree. Remove stakes as soon as the tree takes becomes mature and is firm.
5. A tree’s root system resembles its top, and the tree needs root fertilization to be done deeply to get to access its root system
The truth is that taproots are very rare in established trees. If taproots actually grow, they are normally forced to develop horizontally when they come into contact with a layer of rocks underground. The whole root system of most trees can be located just beneath the soil’s surface, less than three feet into the ground.
They have an extensive root system that spreads widely, usually about two or three times the size of the crown. Therefore, putting fertilizer too deep into the soil is unnecessary. The tree roots grow where oxygen and water are readily available, a few inches from the surface.
6. It is good to dress a tree wound
Dressing a wound on people may be helpful, but it is not so with trees. Many professional arborists can attest that treating a tree wound requires different approaches, which are determined by how the tree got the injury. In some situations, a sealant or tar can suffice. The tree seal may be homemade or bought from a store. Most of the time, leaving the wound alone to cure naturally is the perfect solution.
7. Trees can take care of themselves like they do in the forest
This is another common myth that makes rounds in the tree world. People believe that trees do not need tending since they can grow well in the forest without needing any help. It may be hard to notice when a tree dies in the forest because there are many other trees surrounding it.
Additionally, trees grown in an urban area grow in harsh conditions compared to those in the forest, such as pollution and the presence of buildings. Therefore, trees growing on a homestead need close attention if you want strong and healthy-looking trees. You must take good care of them regardless of whether they are newly planted trees or matured ones.
8. A lot of mulch is good
Mulch consists of organic substances that are added to the soil. There are many benefits of applying mulch, such as improving the appearance of an area, enhancing the soil’s health and fertility, and reducing evaporation. Using about 4 inches of mulch is good for healthy trees and helps you achieve the advantages mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately, there is a common belief that a lot of mulch is even better. Too much mulch is dangerous, especially to newly planted young trees, because it promotes pathogen growth and acts as the hiding ground for rodents and certain insects.
9. It is wrong to prune bleeding trees during spring
Trees like walnuts, birches, and maples excrete a red sap in spring if you prune them. A majority of people think that it is bad to prune such trees in spring to prevent the excretion of the sap. They fear that pruning a tree that bleeds during spring will stress it and negatively affect its health.
Nevertheless, scientists have established that it is okay to lightly prune this kind of tree at any time of the year. Ensure that you use the correct method to ensure the newly pruned trees will not get damaged.
10. Pruning often is essential, particularly for overgrown trees
Pruning usually involves removing dead branches. Whereas regular pruning of a tree is known to be a beneficial practice, going overboard can have devastating effects on the health and life of a tree. Overgrowth of a tree will make you tempted to prune some branches.
Over-pruning results in substantial growth sprouts, leading to competition with other tree sections for food, energy, and ultimately death. If you do not know when to limit pruning or how to prune evenly, it would be best if you seek the services of a reputable tree services company.
Why Choose Mercado’s Landscaping and Tree Service LLC in Philadelphia, PA
Some people will tell you that any tree care services provider that advertises their services, whether online or offline, is good enough, so you can go ahead and hire them. However, it is important to research a company before entrusting them with taking care of your tree.
Ensure that the tree service company has proper certificates, a good reputation, and vast experience in their field before hiring them to work for you. If you are in Philadelphia, PA, look no further than Mercado’s Landscaping & Tree Services LLC. We are
We only hire the best ISA-certified arborist professionals in the field because we endeavor to provide quality services to our clients.
We have experience taking care of different tree species. Thus, there is no tree planted in Philly we cannot tend to. We know the best soil type for each tree species. After extensive examination, we will diagnose the problem with your tree and provide an ideal solution. We can also help you discern which tree care myths are true and which ones are false.
We make sure that we do things right the first time to help you save money and time. Contact us today and let us worry about all your tree care needs.