Unless you do your research and really learn a lot about tree care, you are probably like most people in that you don’t know much about trees, and you’re okay with that– after all, it’s not a topic most people talk about at parties. The only time people really think about the trees on their property is when something goes wrong and they’re worried that a branch might fall, or the tree looks bad and they want to fix it, if possible.
What are some tree care myths you should know about?
First, there’s “tree topping,” which some people believe helps reduce the likelihood of branches falling down and hurting someone or something… coupled with the idea that, “Oh, it’ll help make our sick tree healthier.” Sorry, it’s not true. If you have the top of a tree “topped,”you’re essentially chopping off its head and that’s not good. You’re going to create more potential danger for falling branches and give your tree less ability to take in energy. Therefore, it’ll become more susceptible to problems, including disease and insect/rodent infestation. In other words,never ask a tree service to perform a “tree topping.”
Next, there’s the idea that tree pruning will automatically help trees grow more vigorously. While cutting away some foliage will help spur some local growth, you have to remember that overall you’re lessening the ability of the tree to photosynthesize because you’re lessening its foliage. Therefore, the capacity to take in energy is reduced. With pruning, it’s a smart idea to leave the job to a professional who can maintain a good balance between spurring new growth and maintaining a decent amount of leaf area.
Here’s one that’s a bit odd: some people believe you should fill a tree cavity with concrete to help it heal. In the old days, this was done because it was thought to make a weak tree stronger. However, these days, that practice is no longer considered good. If anything, it harms the tree! A tree filled with concrete means that the concrete part stays immobile while the rest of the tree sways in the wind; Abrasion occurs and the tree is more susceptible to disease and decay.
Finally, have you heard this one? “Branches always grow back so don’t worry about which ones you cut off or where you cut them off from.”The truth is this: limbs don’t grow back in the same spot. You have to be careful with how you prune a tree, which is why professionals are called up onto do it– they know how to pick the right places to cut for the good of the tree.