Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Miscellaneous Gardening Boards > Landscape and Garden Design

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-11-2015, 02:03 PM   #1
A Bee's Best Friend
 
Gloria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default Tree advice for the wildlife gardener

This is a really good advice for anyone with trees in their garden.

How I Killed a Tree (and the Lessons I Learned) | ChooseNatives.org

Quote:
6. Ask ‘why prune a tree.’

Tree limbs have corresponding roots – so when a branch is removed, so dies its companion roots. This means excessive and incorrect pruning of live growth renders a tree vulnerable to drought, disease, insect infestation and more. Ask yourself not how and when to prune a tree but why.

Too often a tree is ‘limbed up’ for ease of mowing or simply because it’s a common practice. Trees with exposed bark are forced into a stressful situation. “It’s not natural for that bark and trunk to be hit with sunlight, that’s why [trees] put out water sprouts, to try and shade themselves and to put out future branching,” states Murray. “Keep the crown as low as possible; the same goes for branches.” Most of the thinning should be at the end of the branch, not at the trunk, to prevent sun scald and frost cracks. The trunk can continue to grow with its lower limbs attached – and ample leaves (and roots) help with photosynthesis.

Antiquated practices like cleaning out interior small branches (or water sprouts), lion tailing, thinning the canopy or topping will most likely catapult your tree to a premature death.
__________________
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

http://pollinators-welcome.blogspot.com/
Gloria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2015, 05:57 PM   #2
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

Excellent article, Gloria!

Thank you for sharing.

I enjoyed reading all 12 points. I'm feeling even better about my approach to things in the yard.

As for (purposely) killing a tree in the yard, I have been trying to off the Japanese maple for a few years now. This past year, it did seem to be on its way out...we'll see. I tried girdling it, but it hung on for a long time. I'm thinking about doing that "volcano" pile of mulch thing at its trunk if it is still alive next year. I'm glad they included the part about snags. ~smile~

I loved the analogy of a tree and its roots resembling a wine glass on a plate instead of the mirror image we are familiar with. I do sort of question the fact that removing a limb "removes" a corresponding root...is that true? Does the root die because there isn't enough foliage to suppor it? I know when I used read up on bonsai (and a year or two of experimenting with them), I'd learned that when you remove 1/3 of the top growth, you should remove a third of the roots as well.

I'm all for encouraging the growth and health of my native trees, but I'd like to figure out the best way to kill off the Japanese maple and still leave it standing as a snag.
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2015, 06:00 PM   #3
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

I'm also happy to hear that planting young trees is the way to go. I've been impatiently waiting for them to mature, but over the next few years, I think I'm going to see a lot more growth. Each year I try to add more bareroot native trees and shrubs, but I'd also like to put in a couple larger ones as well (not huge, but some that have a bit of height to them already)...we'll see what I end up doing.
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 12:54 PM   #4
A Bee's Best Friend
 
Gloria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default

I took the tree keepers course through Openlands in Chicago for the continuing education hours. I think it was 42 hours consisting of classroom and field work. Pruning, planting and mulching are stressed. It is true that specific areas of the upper branches are serviced by specific area of the root mass. I'm sure you have seen dead branches high up in a tree on the same side as where digging by street or utility workers has taken place. Over time very large areas of the tree will die back if much root has been damaged.
In our own yard a tree is slowly dying because a sidewalk, with a long ramp to the alley, was torn out and rebuilt. The really large limbs high on that side are already bare. It is a beautiful old red maple.
Several years ago a neighbors small plum tree was blown down by vicious wind storm. For years plum trees would sprout up along the root path of that tree as far as 30-40 feet into our garden. Most tree roots remain close to the surface but can travel long distances.

https://www.extension.iastate.edu/fo.../101roots.html

Quote:
The type of roots formed initially is specific to a given species; with age the initial root form is often modified by the growing environment. Such thing as soil hard-pans, water tables, texture, structure, and degree of compaction all influence the mature root form. There are three basic classes of tree root systems:
1.Tap root (hickory, walnut, butternut, white oak, hornbeam)
2.Heart root (red oak, honey locust, basswood, sycamore, pines)
3.Flat root (birch, fir, spruce, sugar maple, cottonwood, silver maple, hackberry)
https://www.ncforestry.org/teachers/parts-of-a-tree/

Quote:
Phloem/Inner Bark
The phloem or inner bark, which is found between the cambium and the outer bark, acts as a food supply line by carrying sap (sugar and nutrients dissolved in water) from the leaves to the rest of the tree.
Quote:
Xylem/Sapwood
The xylem, or sapwood, comprises the youngest layers of wood. Its network of thick-walled cells brings water and nutrients up from the roots through tubes inside of the trunk to the leaves and other parts of the tree. As the tree grows, xylem cells in the central portion of the tree become inactive and die. These dead xylem cells form the tree’s heartwood
Pictures of the tube like structure of phloem and xylem in the trunk of tree.
https://tpsbiology11student.wikispac...,+and+Function
__________________
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

http://pollinators-welcome.blogspot.com/
Gloria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 03:14 PM   #5
WG Fundraising Coordinator
 
linrose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Kentucky
Default

I liked the article as well. It's pretty good for most folks to comprehend without too much info to overwhelm yet it doesn't "dumb it down" for newbies.

Because we live in a rural area our trees are mostly unencumbered by pavement etc. We do however have two large red oaks that live in an island close to the house surrounded by a sidewalk on one side, a paved drive on two sides, and open ground on the last side. When we bought the property we were impressed that the owners had preserved most of the mature trees. That was a blessing and a curse because those two red oaks and a chinkapin oak in the back were so close to the house they require maintenance and pruning to keep them. It would kill me to lose any of those three trees.

We had a certified arborist come in several years ago to assess the trees and go about deciding how to save them, and our roof which they were encroaching on. He was very good at trying to preserve the trees while addressing the issue of overhanging large branches which threatened to come down in a storm. We ended up removing some low hanging limbs over the roof along with dead branches. I know some unsavory "arborists" will try to sell you up to make more money. I got a little suspicious when he told me that those big oaks probably had roots strangling the tree which he could cut to save the tree. First of all those trees were never mounded up with soil or mulch and the butt flare of the trunk was clearly visible. Knowledge is power! I did like the guy though and showed him our heritage American Elm that has since perished out in the outer field. He thanked me for that genuinely as I made him walk a long way to see it. It's not a sight you see everyday and a tree lover will cherish those moments.

I love my trees, you might call me a treehugger (1970s hippie reference here!) and I have a hard time altering them in any way so that was a tough call but a necessary one. It was that or chopping them down entirely. Not going to do it! So those three trees are in a precarious situation and I want to save them.

I agree with most of the points in the article, dap, I'm also skeptical about the limb/root death, strange. I agree with keeping turf away from trees, that is almost common sense. The wood chip versus bark is something I need to look into, I don't know enough about it to make a decision. Topping trees, hell no!!! That's so wrong and also so prevalent in the midwest and upper south. It makes me cringe. So many bad landscape practices make me cringe, but that's another story!
__________________
“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”
Terry Tempest Williams
linrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 08:16 PM   #6
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
I took the tree keepers course through Openlands in Chicago for the continuing education hours. I think it was 42 hours consisting of classroom and field work. Pruning, planting and mulching are stressed. It is true that specific areas of the upper branches are serviced by specific area of the root mass. I'm sure you have seen dead branches high up in a tree on the same side as where digging by street or utility workers has taken place. Over time very large areas of the tree will die back if much root has been damaged.
In our own yard a tree is slowly dying because a sidewalk, with a long ramp to the alley, was torn out and rebuilt. The really large limbs high on that side are already bare. It is a beautiful old red maple.
Several years ago a neighbors small plum tree was blown down by vicious wind storm. For years plum trees would sprout up along the root path of that tree as far as 30-40 feet into our garden. Most tree roots remain close to the surface but can travel long distances.
Good to know.

I do remember reading that removing branches along roads and power lines can lead to trees toppling over.

I like the plum tree story--it really illustrates how far roots go.

...oh, and "heart root" is new to me,
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 08:44 PM   #7
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by linrose View Post
I love my trees, you might call me a treehugger (1970s hippie reference here!) and I have a hard time altering them in any way so that was a tough call but a necessary one. It was that or chopping them down entirely. Not going to do it! So those three trees are in a precarious situation and I want to save them.

I agree with most of the points in the article, dap, I'm also skeptical about the limb/root death, strange. I agree with keeping turf away from trees, that is almost common sense. The wood chip versus bark is something I need to look into, I don't know enough about it to make a decision. Topping trees, hell no!!! That's so wrong and also so prevalent in the midwest and upper south. It makes me cringe. So many bad landscape practices make me cringe, but that's another story!
I would think, that being a tree hugger, you are probably in good company here.

I'm glad I am not alone in having that raise a red flag for you as well...although, based n what Gloria posted, there seems to be something to that.
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 09:52 PM   #8
Hippie Gardener
 
katjh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Michigan
Default

Thank you, Gloria, for sharing another excellent article! I've often felt a bit uneasy about pruning trees. It seems as though they've done very well for themselves in "the woods" without any helpful pruning for many, many years. I've never felt like I should try to improve on what trees already know how to do. I have, on occasion, limbed up the Northern Catalpa in my back yard. It's not native and I wouldn't be horribly disappointed if I had to replace it someday.

I like planting "baby" trees! I added two very tiny Oaks this fall and one very tiny Sycamore. Still want to add one very tiny Sassafras soon!
__________________
One with the earth, with the sky, one with everything in life. I believe it will start with conviction of the heart.
~Kenny Loggins~
katjh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 11:23 AM   #9
Alternate POM Judge
 
EllenW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Maryland
Default

I planted hundreds of trees when I moved here. Most were tiny seedlings. My neighbors teased me. Let me get out my magnifying glass. Now those seedlings are 30 feet tall.
__________________
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. Aristotle
EllenW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 12:26 PM   #10
WG Fundraising Coordinator
 
linrose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Kentucky
Default

What a wonderful success story EllenW! You must be so happy and proud.
__________________
“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”
Terry Tempest Williams
linrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
advice, gardener, tree, wildlife

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2