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  • Callum Ward

Common Myths About Tree Care Debunked by Experts

Tree care is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy and vibrant landscape. However, many misconceptions and myths surround the practice, often leading to improper care and, consequently, tree damage. To ensure that your trees receive the best care possible, it's essential to separate fact from fiction. Here are some common myths about tree care debunked by experts.

tree care

Myth 1: Trees Can Take Care of Themselves

While it's true that trees in natural forests can often thrive without human intervention, urban and suburban trees require regular care to maintain their health. The environments in which these trees grow are vastly different from their natural habitats. Urban trees face challenges such as compacted soil, pollution, restricted root growth, and limited water availability. Regular tree care, including pruning, fertilisation, and disease management, is essential to help them thrive in these conditions.

Myth 2: Pruning Can Be Done Anytime

Many people believe that pruning can be done at any time of the year without consequences. However, the timing of pruning is crucial for tree health. For most trees, the best time to prune is during late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning during this period minimises stress on the tree and reduces the risk of disease transmission. However, there are exceptions, and some trees, such as flowering species, may benefit from pruning after they bloom. Consulting with a certified arborist can help determine the optimal pruning time for your specific trees.

Myth 3: Tree Topping Is a Good Way to Control Size

Tree topping, which involves cutting back large branches to stubs, is a harmful practice often believed to control tree size. In reality, topping can severely damage a tree, leading to weak, unstable growth and making it more susceptible to disease and pests. Instead of topping, proper pruning techniques should be used to manage a tree's size and shape. These methods involve selective cutting to maintain the tree's natural structure and health.

Myth 4: Trees Need Frequent, Shallow Watering

Frequent, shallow watering is a common mistake in tree care. This practice encourages shallow root growth, making trees more vulnerable to drought and instability. Instead, trees benefit from deep, infrequent watering, which promotes deeper root growth. Deep watering ensures that water reaches the entire root zone, providing the necessary hydration for the tree to thrive. Mulching around the base of the tree can also help retain moisture and reduce the frequency of watering.

Myth 5: All Trees Need Fertiliser

While fertiliser can benefit some trees, it's not always necessary for all. Over-fertilising can lead to excessive growth, making trees more susceptible to pests and diseases. The need for fertilisation depends on the soil quality and the specific nutrient requirements of the tree. Soil testing can determine if your tree needs additional nutrients. If fertilisation is necessary, it's important to use the right type and amount to avoid harming the tree.

Myth 6: Newly Planted Trees Don’t Need Much Care

Newly planted trees require significant care to establish themselves and grow healthily. Proper watering, mulching, and protection from physical damage are critical during the first few years. Staking may be necessary to provide support until the tree can stand on its own. Regular monitoring and maintenance during this period are essential to ensure the tree develops a strong root system and adapts to its new environment.

Myth 7: Wounds Need to Be Sealed with Paint

Sealing tree wounds with paint or wound dressings was once a common practice believed to prevent disease and decay. However, research has shown that these treatments can actually trap moisture and encourage fungal growth. Trees have a natural ability to compartmentalise and heal their wounds. The best approach is to make clean cuts when pruning and allow the tree to heal naturally.

Understanding and debunking common myths about tree care is essential for maintaining healthy trees. Trees in urban and suburban environments require regular, informed care to thrive. By recognising the importance of proper pruning, watering, and fertilisation practices, and seeking the advice of certified arborists, you can ensure your trees remain strong, healthy, and beautiful. Don’t let myths guide your tree care decisions – rely on expert knowledge for the best results, get in touch now!

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