The best time to prune roots is in the late winter when they’re dormant. Pruning during the dormant season is ideal since:
Is Root Pruning Trees and Shrubs a Viable Option?
When a tree is dug for transplanting, typically the part of the roots taken, the root ball, is only the perimeter of the drip line, at times even less. Since the shrub or tree is relying on the root ball for most of its water and nutrients, it requires lots of feeder roots to continue to maintain itself during the jolt of being uprooted.
To boost the development of feeder roots nearer to the drip line, root pruning, slicing off the long anchor roots, is performed.
How to Root Prune
Root pruning entails cutting the roots (at the drip line) entirely around the entire tree's circumference. This can be performed by slicing downward all around with a sharp spade.
The bigger the remaining root ball, the more feeder roots you will have and the better likelihood the shrub or tree will successfully transplant. On the other hand, big root balls are quite heavy. This is never a project for one person. For huge trees, you might need to call in a tree care expert.
Root pruning is also helpful when potted plants have grown bigger than their container, and you don’t want to transport them to a larger one. Pruning the roots back and repotting with some new soil will keep your plants’ development in on point.
Are you planning a landscaping or construction project shortly? Before any work starts, be sure to decide how you’ll protect the trees in your outdoor space. Heavy material and equipment can compact the soil, diminishing the capability of small roots to absorb water, air, and nutrients. If too much of the roots are crushed, a tree becomes unstable and dies.
Follow these procedures for protecting your tree if there is construction on your property:
Before construction, put an orange construction or silt fence around the root zone.
What is the root zone? It's the part of the root system that is most vital to the survival of a tree. It extends typically one foot from the trunk for every inch of trunk diameter.
If you can't avoid carrying materials over the root zone, apply a layer of wood mulch over the root system. Also, build a temporary ramp to distribute the weight and lessen the impact on the roots and soil.
Avoid transporting machinery over wet soil. Instead, do the project when the ground is frozen or dry.
Store soil, equipment, and other bulky items away from tree trunks and outside the root zone.
Healing the Damage
If the damage is unavoidable, water the lasting part of the root system to aid the tree in recovering. Water throughout and after the construction job, maintaining moist soil. Be sure not to flood the ground.
Applying a layer of mulch over the root system is another way to aid the tree in recovering. A Rochester arborist can advise replacing or repairing tree damage.
The Hidden Killer: Soil Compaction
Soil compaction is the leading cause of death to trees. A lot of that destruction occurs during construction as traffic and equipment damages delicate roots in the top of the soil.
The time to safeguard your trees is before you build your dream house or start your home remodeling project.
You realize your trees offer beauty, enhance the environment, and increase your property value. The last thing you want to happen is for your trees to die. Taking preventive measures can stop that from happening.
Some time ago, a friend of mine asked me, “Why do you walk on the grass? Sidewalks are for people to walk on.” I laughed and replied, “Lawns are for folks to walk on as well.”
The nature vs. concrete argument is not anything new. As much as we all want lush, long greenery, we live in a world filled with concrete building and spaces.
Trees, who have no say in the argument, are usually the primary victims of this battle. Read on to learn how to deal with tree roots and concrete.
Issues with Concrete Over Tree Roots
Concrete workers are not landscapers or arborists. Their knowledge is in setting concrete not maintaining trees. When a paver is at your house giving you a price on a patio, sidewalk, or driveway, this isn’t the person to ask how the concrete will affect your trees around the project.
Preferably, if you have big trees that you want to remain healthy and safe, you should contact an arborist first to let you know the best spot to put a concrete structure without harming the tree roots. Then you reach out to a concrete company. Some advanced planning can save you plenty of money in redoing concrete or tree removal service.
The Problem with Concrete and Root Pruning
Often, tree roots are cut or pruned to make way for concrete projects. This technique can be harmful to trees. Roots are what attach massive, tall trees to the earth. Pruning roots that are securing a tree cause the tree to be damaged by strong weather and high winds.
Also, roots absorb oxygen, nutrients, and water, oxygen, things that are vital to tree development and growth. If a good portion of the roots is pruned, that side of the tree will perish due to no nutrients and water.
Pruning roots lead to diseases and pests getting into the fresh cuts and infecting the tree. Root pruning is particularly bad for mature trees — young roots that are pruned to put in sidewalks, driveways, patios. Young roots can grow back while the roots of mature trees won’t, so be careful when you make these kinds of decisions.
How often have you gone for a run and seen sidewalks heaved out of place or cracked due to tree roots? Sadly, this issue is all too common. Not only are the destroyed sidewalks a possible accident for pedestrians, fixing the condition can be damaging to the tree.
Prevention is the best way not to have to deal with problematic tree root systems. When root issues develop, root pruning might be needed. However, root pruning is nothing to play with and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Avoid putting trees in spaces with less than three feet between paved spots. In spots with three to four feet between paved areas, put trees that mature to a height of fewer than 30 feet. In spaces with five to six feet between paved spots, pick trees that grow around 50 feet tall. Save trees that grow larger than 45 feet for places with approximately eight feet between paved sections. This delivers enough space for tree roots.
Things to know before planting trees near a sidewalk? Don’t plant shallow rooted tree types near sidewalks.
Sugar maple, red maple, Norwood maple, ash, tuliptree, pin oak, sweetgum, cottonwoods, poplars, American elm, willows are examples of shallow-rooted trees.
Install root barriers around the tree-side border of the sidewalk. The barrier will make tree roots grow deeply under the sidewalk, stopping any heaving.
Barriers can be constructed of geotextile fabric or plastic. It should go one foot deep and around five or six feet in either direction from the spot on the sidewalk’s edge nearest to the tree.
Trees close to sidewalks
The area between the sidewalk and a street curb is referred to as a parkway, streetscape, or treelawn according to where you live in the US. Small trees are most appropriate for planting in near sidewalks since their roots don’t grow quite big.
Plant big trees such as oaks for larger spaces, those over eight feet wide since their roots can push up the pavement and sidewalk if planted too close.
Get in touch with a Rochester arborist if you need more information about which trees work best near sidewalks.
If you’re planning on putting a few trees in your outdoor space, it’s vital to know where you can plant them when it comes to nearby power lines. Tall trees that grow straight up into overhead power lines are repeatedly trimmed back to stay clear of the lines. The job can be pricey and creates an odd-shaped, unattractive tree. Also, the roots of trees that are put too close to underground power lines can be destroyed if the lines have to be taken up for repairs.
Here are some things to know before planting trees near power lines to avoid conflicts with the power lines.
Planting Trees and Overhead Power Lines
Tree specialists and electric utilities suggest that property owners plant trees near overhead power lines pick trees that grow 25 feet or less. Tree care professionals call this the low zone. Also, there is a medium zone and a tall zone. Here’s how they work:
Low Zone — This area goes from straight underneath overhead power lines to between 15 feet and 25 feet on any side of the lines. Low-growing trees that mature between 20 and 25 feet should only be put in the low zone.
Medium Zone — Medium-growing trees that mature between 25 and 35 feet have to be planted in the medium zone, an area that’s around 25 to 50 feet away from power lines.
Tall Zone — Tall trees that mature over 35 feet have to be planted in the tall zone which starts around 50 feet from the power lines.
Trees and Underground Power Lines
Since underground power lines aren’t buried deep down and usually are close to the surface, it’s vital to plant your trees a secure distance away. Doing so will help eliminate issues while digging and can aid in stopping your tree’s roots from growing around the lines.
Since a tree’s root system is as wide as the tree itself, and in some instances wider, you might want to follow the low, medium and tall zone recommendations when planting trees near underground power lines.
Though, if you keep the low zone around buried power lines free of trees, you won’t chance significant destruction to the tree’s roots if the line requires repairing.
From trees with vivid flowers to evergreens, you have plenty of choices when selecting fast-growing trees. Many of these trees have roots that don’t spread and won't wreck your hardscape like paving, walls, patios, and fountains. An even more significant advantage is that several have limbs that resist breakage and are less likely to fall and damage your fence, railing, or trellis.
To pick the perfect tree that won’t hurt your foundation, it’s critical to select trees that don’t have an invasive root system that creates havoc. Before setting your sights on a specific tree that you feel will be amazing, make sure you discover all you can learn about its root system, particularly about the estimated spread and depth of its roots. Trees, specifically the roots, can annihilate your outdoor space.
What kind of trees shouldn't be planted near a house foundation?
Trees that grow lateral, long roots should not be planted anywhere near your home. By expanding under your structure and pushing it upward, this causes your foundation to heave. Furthermore, since trees need water to live, they rob your soil of much-needed moisture, and this can be harmful to your structure.
Here are some trees with roots that don’t spread. This list includes walnut, hickory, conifers, and oak. The second group of trees like ash, cottonwoods, and maples is known for growing lateral invasive trees roots. You want to leave these alone. Deciduous trees are likely to have deep root systems and should be avoided.
The distance to plant a tree from a residence
While roots can hurt your foundation, they can create other problems as well. It’s crucial to keep tree roots far away from underground utility lines. To be on the safe side, make sure trees are planted at least five to ten feet away from utilities. Call a tree specialist to come to inspect your yard and let you know the best place to plant.
Where sidewalks or driveways are concerned, it’s best to plant them at least six to seven feet away. If you’re planting a medium-sized tree, put it at least 20 feet away if the tree is known for having to invade, large roots. It may be best to put in a root barrier to shield your driveway or home from damage.
Softwood refers to wood that comes from evergreen or coniferous tree. Softwoods are usually used as building materials.
Softwood lumber is used for many woodworking tasks since it’s durable and easy to handle. Softwood is used by numerous professionals such as cabinetmakers, woodcarvers, furniture makers, and carpenters. You can get softwood at your local tree care company.
The other class of wood is hardwood which comes from trees like maple, walnut, or hickory.
Some trees are softwood; some are hardwood. Is the wood of softwood trees tough and less dense than hardwood trees? Not really. Truthfully, some hardwood trees have softer wood than softwood trees. So, what are softwood trees? Read on to find out more regarding softwood characteristics and other pertinent information.
Softwood tree lumber is typically used to build decks, boats, stairwells, and houses. This signifies that a characteristic of softwood trees doesn’t include weakness. Instead, the classification of trees into softwood and hardwood is based on a genetic distinction.
Softwood tree information tells us that softwoods, referred to as gymnosperms, are conifers or needle-bearing trees. Softwood trees like cedars, cypresses, and pines, are typically evergreens. They don’t lose their needles in the autumn and go dormant in the wintertime.
Softwood Tree Info
The distinction between softwood and hardwood is revealed to some degree in the structure of the wood. Softwood trees usually have softer wood (hence the name) than hardwood tree types. Conifer wood possesses only a couple of various cell types. The wood of hardwood trees maintains fewer air spaces and more cell types.
Hardness can be identified as being a purpose of the wood’s density. Softwoods are denser than hardwood trees. The truth be told, there are several exceptions to this rule. Categorizing is to give you some idea about a tree’s density. Nothing is written in stone.
For instance, southern pines are categorized as softwoods and have softwood characteristics. Though, yellow poplar, a hardwood, is less dense. For a vivid example of a soft hardwood, consider balsa wood. It is so light and thin that it is used to construct model airplanes. The thing is, it comes from a hardwood tree.
If you need help determining the types of trees you have in your yard, contact Rochester Tree today.
Nothing is more beautiful on a cold winter night than a glowing, warm, and rustling fire in the stove or fireplace. Also, wood heat is more affordable than most electric or gas furnaces. It can be more useful for cooking and home heating. The question then becomes: what is the best way to store firewood during winter?
Wrong Storage Leads to Bad Results
Regardless the amount of firewood you have on hand, it’s useless if it is stored wrong. Incorrectly stored wood is wet and damp, leading to smoldering and smoking instead of burning. This reduces the effectiveness of your wood stove, necessitating more fuel to do the same work.
Wood stored inaccurately becomes the home for snakes, insects, rodents, and termites that can create severe damage to your house if you bring firewood in to burn. Rot and decay of improperly stored wood lead to mold, decomposition, and bad smells, making the wood worthless for burning.
Truthfully, if your firewood is stored wrongly, you’ve wasted it. The wood not only can’t be used, but the money, effort, and time you used to collect, prep, and store the wood in the first place have been wasted.
Accurately Storing Firewood
Luckily, it is easy to store firewood accurately, so it is well seasoned and ready to use each winter. Regardless if you’re starting to build a woodpile in the spring or don't begin until late fall, the values of rightly storing wood are the same.
Split Wood Effectively
Before stacking and storing wood, it must be correctly split. Remember the built of your stove, furnace, or fireplace. Cut wood to the correct lengths and width for easy use. Triangular wedges are simplest to stack and will have more surface area so the wood can dry faster.
Dry Wood Completely
Drier wood lasts longer and burns better. Store wood in an open space with accurate ventilation on every side. If possible, store newly cut wood in a sunny, windy location where it will dry faster, but is shielded from the snow and rain.
Stack and store your wood near your home, easily accessible even in bad weather. If you have questions about which trees would work best for firewood, contact a Rochester arborist.
If you heat your residence with wood, you most likely spend lots of time planning for winter. It’s a year-long job since firewood necessitates anywhere from six to twenty-four months to dry out.
Late winter and early spring are perfect times to cut and store firewood for the upcoming year. It lets the wood dry over the summertime, making it well-seasoned for the wintertime.
If you’re new to burning firewood as a heat source for your house, you might not have thought so far in advance. Regardless if you have to buy wood from a business that specializes in tree services or you plan to cut your own, it’s vital to properly season wood before using it.
Burning green wood can be lethal. It makes lots of smoke and may create a harmful creosote buildup over time. You have to know when wood is correctly seasoned. It will help you accurately and safely heat your home.
How do you know when firewood is properly seasoned?
A local tree arborist can help you identify the trees in your yard and which trees might work best as firewood, contact us today.
Wrapping shrubs with burlap is a straightforward way to protect the plants from ice, snow, and winter frost. Read below to find out more.
Burlap Plant Protection
Using burlap to protect your shrubs during the winter protects them from winter burn, an adverse condition brought on by depleted soil moisture and winter sunshine.
Burlap is more helpful than plastic since it lets the shrub breathe, so air circulates, and heat doesn’t get trapped. Burlap for shielding your plants can be comfortable with an old burlap bag. If you don’t have any burlap bags lying around, you can buy them at most tree care businesses.
Covering Shrubs with Burlap
To cover a shrub with burlap, start by putting some stakes around the shrub, leaving a few inches of space between the plant and stakes. Put two layers of burlap over the stakes and fastened the material to the stakes using staples. Most tree specialists suggest that you don’t let the burlap touch the shrub. Not as bothersome as plastic, if burlap gets wet and freezes, it can harm the plant.
In a pinch, though, it shouldn’t damage the plant to wrap it in burlap or drape burlap over the plant if cold weather is forthcoming. Take the burlap off as soon as the cold weather eases up. However, leave the stakes so you can cover the plant swiftly in case of another cold snap. Detach the stakes in spring when it’s obvious the cold weather is over.
Which shrubs need burlap?
Not all shrubs need protecting in the wintertime. If your temps are mild or if winter weather is just a sporadic light frost, your shrubs might not require any protection besides a layer of mulch. Though, burlap is useful to have around in case of a sudden drop in temperatures.
The need for protection also is contingent on the type of shrub. For example, perennials are sturdy plants, but even sturdy plants can be destroyed if they aren’t healthy or if they are planted in poorly drained and soggy soil.
Usually, freshly planted shrubs profit from protection for a couple of winters but are winter-adaptable when they become established. One of our arborists can help you with your trees and shrubs if you have any questions.
Rochester Tree Service wants to help you care for the trees on your property. Trees are valuable resources and we want to provide interesting information to you!