Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Bit About Tree Guards and Tree Pruning

Welcome to part 2 of this series on tree care tips to ensure your young trees get a healthy start to a long life. Although these tips are for anyone to follow, I encourage you to call upon your local tree service for assistance with your overall or general tree care. Many tree services are best left to professionals. While it is great to be a do-it-yourselfer, you don't want to jeopardize the health of your tree or waste the dollars already invested in the tree by making rookie mistakes. 

Here's a little tip about how tree guards and pruning will help your trees stay healthy. 

Tree guards are intended to stop animals – such as mice, rabbits, deer or horses – from damaging young trees by eating the shoots and leaves or stripping the bark. Check the guards in spring and autumn to ensure they are effective (no bark missing or twigs bitten or broken off) and not rubbing or cutting into the tree.

If a guard is inadequate or the risk has changed, consider different protection, e.g. a taller tube to protect against deer, or fencing to keep off cows and other farm animals. 

Make sure to repair or replace damaged guards. If a guard is damaging the tree, adjust, modify or replace it. Remove the guard when there is no longer a risk of damage and clear away any material that has built up inside.

Careful pruning can prevent problems in later life. If a tree has two competing upright shoots, remove one at an early stage to leave a single main shoot. This can save the tree from possible future branch failure. With pruning it is important to know WHEN to prune, WHAT to prune and HOW to prune. Pruning the wrong tree in the wrong season the wrong way can lead to major problems with the tree and even death. Make sure you do your research on the type of tree you are pruning so you know how to go about pruning. Of course, your local tree service will know the best plan of action for your trees, so I encourage you to contact them. Chicago readers can call Trees "R" Us, Inc., a Chicago tree service to the Chicagoland area and the Chicago suburbs.

Stay tuned to part 3 of this 5 part post on tree care for young trees. Part 3 will cover loosening, an ofter overlooked aspect of tree care.

Thanks for reading,

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