Trimming Trees Does Not Just Create Curb Appeal; It Also Prevents Damage and Liability
Trees play an essential role on any commercial property. They provide shade and beauty and can even help to increase property values. However, trees also come at a high cost. They need to be regularly pruned and groomed, and they are susceptible to diseases and pests. As a result, keeping trees healthy can be an expensive proposition.
Some tree species are valuable and worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. As a result, it is essential to take steps to protect these valuable assets. Regular inspections by a certified arborist can help identify potential problems before they become serious, and prompt treatment can often save a tree that would otherwise be lost. In addition, proper care and maintenance will help to ensure that trees stay healthy for years to come.
Trimming a Tree Is Not Like Getting a Haircut
When you get a bad haircut, it’s not like your other hairs will begin to rot, and insects will get in. That would be a horrible sickness and not a good way to go. However, for trees, that’s precisely what can happen when you don’t trim (sometimes called pruning) your trees properly.
Trimming involves removing diseased or infested branches to avoid them interfering with healthy new growth. A rotted branch left untreated will find its way back to the tree’s trunk and rot the tree from the inside. Without proper maintenance, cracks and rot in a tree’s trunk will allow insects to enter and cause irreversible damage.
Trimming is also important in preventing the crossing of branches. Once tree branches cross, they will rub the bark off each other, causing the protective bark to fall off, leading to the tree becoming infected, sick, or possibly dying. Trimming also helps train new limbs to grow in the direction you want them to (for example, away from a building or walkaway).
Let’s be direct here. Your resident’s safety has to come before curb appeal. This is specifically in apartment communities where residents and guests may walk or relax throughout the property. Maintaining your trees is essential for your safety and well-being.
Unfortunately, failing to care for trees properly can have serious liability implications. Dead or dying branches and trees pose a real threat, as their disintegrating limbs and roots can damage property and injure people. It is essential to have your trees professionally trimmed and maintained regularly to reduce this liability risk. This will ensure that any dead or damaged branches are identified and removed before they can do any harm. By keeping your trees healthy and strong, you can help protect yourself, your business, and those around you from the risks of an unkempt tree canopy.
Healthy Trees Look Better and Live Longer
Do you know why you can quickly grow most plants indoors? It’s because you can control their environment. It is as simple as controlling the temperature and the amount of water your plant gets for many household plants. It’s also much easier to pull off dead leaves and notice when the plant has matured, does not look healthy, or is dying.
However, for trees, it’s not as easy to control their environment or know when a tree is weakened due to rot and malnutrition.
The Bradford Pear tree is an excellent example of the importance of tree trimming.
The Bradford Pear tree is a species of pear tree introduced to the US from China in the mid-1960s. It quickly became popular with landscapers and homeowners because it was relatively inexpensive, easy to transport, had gorgeous flowers and leaves, and grew quickly. By the 1980s, however, these invasive (yes invasive) trees were planted all over North Texas.
However, the Bradford Pear has several drawbacks that have led to its decline in popularity in recent years. One major issue is that the Bradford Pear is susceptible to damage from high winds, which can cause it to split or fall over. Split trees allow insects to infest them and cause decay. This can create a liability issue for homeowners and landscapers alike.
In addition, the Bradford Pear is not an exceptionally long-lived tree, with most specimens only lasting 20-30 years before needing to be replaced.
We apply the rule of thirds and fourths for most shrubs and small trees. That means you should trim no more than one-third of good wood on a tree. If you prune or trim more than that, you risk damaging the tree and stunting its growth.
For large shade trees, pruning should not exceed a quarter of the total branches. Shade tree pruning is less dramatic than that of multi-stemmed shrubbery since they do not require as much vigorous in-growth development. Trees still benefit from regular maintenance with a good amount of trimming over time to help prevent wind damage.
Texas Storms Are Wild and Unpredictable
Storm damage mitigation is one of the biggest challenges we face as commercial landscapers. Storms can uproot trees, cause weak limbs in the canopies to break off, and turn branches into dangerous projectiles, resulting in damage to the property, structures, and even people.
Some signs of damage that we look for during our routine maintenance checks include:
- Branches that overhang buildings, structures, walkways, or parking lots
- Limbs that are too close to power lines
- Branches that interfere or cross over with each other
- V-shaped unions (or forks) on a tree versus a health U-shaped union. V-shaped unions are more likely to cause a tree to split.
- Trees leaning heavily to one side.
- Hollow trunks (this could be a sign that insects have infested the trees that can cause damage)
- Cracks in the trunk or major limbs of the tree
The key to protecting your property is preventative maintenance. A well-maintained and trimmed tree dramatically reduces the risk of storm damage. Clearing out the dead wood, dense branches, and heavy limbs before a storm helps create better airflow through the crown of a tree, allowing it to maintain its strength against high winds and heavy rains.
Proper Clearance Creates A Safer Environment
Three reasons you need to have good clearance for your property: Prevention, support, and plant health.
Adequate clearance prevents trees and limbs from falling onto or striking vehicles, structures, buildings, and people. It’s important for driveways, parking lots, walkways, sidewalks, parks, and playgrounds.
Inadequate maintenance can make it difficult for first responders and utility workers to access a property if there is an incident. For instance, when tree limbs/branches are overgrown or damaged within the boundaries of a building, they can prevent emergency vehicles from accessing the premises.
Clearance also prevents rodents and insects from using tree limbs as natural bridges to get onto rooftops or into buildings they shouldn’t be accessing. Trimming the trees also reduces the noise made by animals/insects that live in the trees.
As a general rule of thumb, clearance pruning should provide at least 3 feet of clearance from buildings and structures, 8 feet over sidewalks and roofs, and 15 feet over roadways.
Aesthetic Beauty. It’s A Competitive Advantage.
Capitalizing on your property’s natural assets is a surefire way to give your business a competitive edge. Creating an inviting, park-like atmosphere can help you attract customers and residents while also making your employees feel more relaxed and productive.
Of course, achieving this goal requires more than just planting a few trees and shrubs. By keeping your trees and shrubs well-groomed, you can maintain an attractive landscape that reflects well on your business. In addition to enhancing curb appeal, regular trimming can also help improve the health of your plants by promoting airflow that allows the sun and rain to penetrate and reach your grass or flowers, which will support their growth. So it’s easy to see how trimming can enhance your landscape’s appearance.
Your Tree Professionals are Just One Call Away
The best time to trim trees is in January and February, when trees are dormant after dropping their leaves. Until then, you should rely on a licensed arborist to inspect your property. EarthWorks will take care of this during regular maintenance at our client’s properties, trim your trees and remove dead wood on an as-needed basis.
Value • Integrity • Service • Quality