71108thumbBefore the storms of winter get here, it might be a good time to make arrangements to get some help for big trees that need it. Smaller trees that can be reached from the ground may not need anything that we can not do ourselves. It is the big trees that have grown beyond our reach that may need professional help if they have problems. They are unsafe for us DIY garden enthusiasts.

Once late autumn and winter weather patterns start, storms can break limbs and destabilize trees. Identifying problems and executing necessary remedies can limit such damages before they happens. Disproportionately heavy or structurally deficient limbs can be pruned to reduce weight and wind resistance. Obtrusive limbs can be pruned for clearance from roofs and anything else.

Trees are the most significant and influential features of our gardens. They shade and extend their limbs over our homes and gardens. Not only can they cause serious damage by dropping limbs or falling, but they can also change how our home and garden are affected by their shade. They are worthy of proper maintenance, even when it is necessary to procure the services of an arborist.

An arborist is a horticulturist who specializes in arboriculture, which is the horticulture of trees. Arborists are essentially tree physicians, who evaluate the health, stability and structural integrity of trees, and make recommendations for maintenance, or to repair problems. Most municipalities require an ISA Certified Arborist report in order to issue a permit to remove an unsalvageable tree.

The ISA is the International Society of Arboriculture. Certified Arborists have passed an examination of their arboricultural expertise, and maintain their credentials by continued involvement with ISA educational seminars, classes and workshops. More information about the International Society of Arboriculture and local certified arborists can be found at the website, www.isa-arbor.com.

Arboriculture is not the sort of thing that gardeners should be expected to perform. It is completely different from the sort of mowing, shearing and pruning that they do. Sadly, much of the damage that arborists find in trees was caused by improper arboricultural procedures. Arboriculture also has the potential to be very dangerous to someone who lacks adequate training and equipment.

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7 thoughts on “Arborists Are Physicians For Trees

  1. I think you would shudder to see the lop sided gum tree across the road. Council keep lopping off branches on one side that are over power lines, consequently the other side, towering about 4-5 stories above the single story house, leans over and is an accident waiting to happen.

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    1. When my Pa lived in Montara (on the coast south of San Francisco) there were huge bluegum trees all over the place. There was a grove in the neighbors yard to the west across the road, and a huge one to the north. They do not scare me much. One of my best treehouses when I was a kid was built in a bluegum that was topped and came back with a bunch of trunks around the big stump. That would have scared me if I knew how dangerous it was. Bluegums are quite stable, but when they do fall, it is horrible. When they drop limbs, they fall from such a height that they can do serious damage. One at the farm dropped a rather small branch maybe six feet long, but it dinged a nice Sedan deVille badly enough that it needed repair.

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  2. Oh, how timely your post is but how busy the tree companies are up here. 🙂 We’ve been on the list to have two big old oaks trimmed and one maple taken down because it is rotting from within. We still have four weeks left to wait and along comes this big storm. I’m sure you can envision the amount of branches that came off these three trees. Oh well, when you live in a state where over 80% of the land is treed, I guess you wait. 🙂

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    1. I used to do the grounding for the emergency teams that cleared roads in Saratoga, which meant that we had to be out there whenever the trees fell, even if it was in the middle of the night. We actually get storm damage here, not because the weather is bad, but because it is so mild that bad trees hold their limbs or do not fall over for so long, that even a mild storm (by your standards) can knock them down. So yes, the damage happens even without nasty weather. Also, our redwoods are so big that when they go through a phase of dropping foliage, it can be very deep, and there is no place to dump it. Our redwoods are to tall that if one fell, (which they almost never do) it might land in Nevada.

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