Just like we humans need to be protected from cold, so also do plants need to be protected from cold. Degrees below 32 Fahrenheit over a sustained period of time is enough to make most trees die. So, how do you prevent frost damage? Here’s the thing, unlike humans who produce body heat internally and then put on thick clothes so as to keep the heat in, plants, on the other hand, don’t rely on their heat for warmth in the winter, trees rely on Mother Nature; the Earth.
Most times, the cold weather does its damage at night, especially clear nights. This is because the lack of cloud cover makes it easy for the earth to lose its heat to outer space resulting in colder temperatures. The one technique we advise our clients to apply is by covering their trees at night with a light fabric material. The idea is to trap some of the heat escaping from the earth’s surface under the cover of the sheet. This way your tree can stay warm through the night. You are then to remove the sheet the next morning when the sun comes up. Don’t go for those bags that gather at the base of your plant, remember, you are trying to trap the earth’s heat, not the plant’s heat. Cheers.
Yes and no because there are a lot of factors that go into this. The usual fear amongst people is that the roots of the trees will become so big that they damage the foundation of the building. However, tree roots for the most part don’t like growing towards foundations because the soil in those areas is not so rich in moisture content. Tree roots gravitate towards the soil that is rich in moisture.
Then there is the issue of the tree’s branches touching the wall and roof of the building. Over time, if the branches of a tree are left to rub against the wall or roof of a building, of course, it will do some damage; little by little. So don’t let the tree touch the building.
Then there’s the issue of underground pipes. Pipes may not be part of the building but they service the building so they are almost as important. All things being equal, roots don’t grow towards pipes unless the pipe starts leaking and the roots then have no choice. Pipes that are laid far away from trees and are not leaky should be fine.
Of course, you can. So, your beautiful tree has begun to overstep its boundaries or has simply become too big for your yard, yes, there are measures you can take to ensure that the tree’s size is kept in check. But first, you have to know which techniques to apply, how to apply them properly, and also when to apply them.
Let’s start with ‘when’. Although it varies from tree to tree, late summer is a good time for most trees. Pruning in the winter is also a good option for deciduous trees as the branches are more visible. As for which technique to apply, pruning takes the cake. There are different ways to prune a tree, you could do crown lifting, crown thinning, or remove the crown altogether. It all depends on you and what you want to achieve.
As for ‘how’, precaution must be taken to ensure that the cuts made to the tree don’t result in injuries and facilitate the infiltration of disease. When cutting off the branches, be sure not to cut the branch collar (The collar is that bulge where the branch meets the tree trunk). This way, the tree can easily heal and regrow the branch.
You prune it. If you know how to, you simply cut some of the branches so that light can shine through. If you have no idea how to do it, you can hire a professional tree surgeon. On the other hand, what if the tree in question isn’t yours but your neighbor’s? What do you do?
First, check if the tree is covered by the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or is in a conservation area. If not, you can have a conversation with your neighbor. Tell them about how their tree is preventing light from entering your yard. Tell them what you propose and then let them respond.
Irrespective of whether you get the “go-ahead” from your neighbor or not, and the tree isn’t covered by TPO, you are well within your rights if you decide to prune the part of the tree that overhangs into your yard. Just be sure to present the fallen branches to your neighbor as they are still the legal owner of the tree. It’s advisable to get a professional to do this for you so you don’t damage your neighbor’s tree.
If the part of your neighbor’s tree obstructing sunlight from getting into your garden doesn’t overhang into your yard, and there is nothing you can do, then you can employ the Right to Light Act. The act states that if a property has received light for the last 20 years (at least), you may continue to receive that light.
If you are enthusiastic about your property (trees and landscape) then you most likely know a thing or two about how to take care of your plants. But there comes a time when you may have to step back and let the professionals take charge.
A professional tree surgeon knows all that there is to know about plants. They have all the answers to the ‘how’, ‘where’, ‘when’, and ‘what’ questions. Granted, you may know a lot about your plants but chances are that a professional tree surgeon knows more. Tree surgeons have a ton of experience handling issues for clients under varying conditions.
Secondly, a professional tree surgeon will have the right tools for the job. Different procedures require different equipment and a professional tree surgeon most likely has this equipment. If you take the DIY route, you will have to rent equipment and even after that, you also have to learn how to operate the equipment. Why go through all that when you could just make a phone call and have it all sorted?
The final and probably the most important reason why you need a professional tree surgeon is safety. A professional tree surgeon takes safety very seriously. They typically put on protective gear and follow protocols that ensure that they perform their duties without any hiccups. Also, if something goes wrong, professional tree surgeons are insured.
The exact time to maintain your particular tree or hedge depends on which species it is, as different species respond favorably to pruning at different times in the year.
However, one general rule of thumb to go by is to prune trees after leaf fall and before buds start to emerge (bear in mind that this doesn’t apply to all species). Here is a quick overview.
In early spring, you can prune summer-flowering trees. Late spring or early summer is for spring-flowering shrubs. During the summer, prune deciduous or evergreen hedges. Trim long nose canes in the autumn. The winter is for pruning berried shrubs and trees, you can also prune deciduous trees and shrubs (keep an eye on the temperature, it shouldn’t be less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit).
So, you want to be a tree surgeon, Congratulations on your decision. Now how do you achieve that dream? Here are a few pointers. But first, what does it mean to be a tree surgeon? What do they really do?
Tree surgeons, also known as arborists, look after trees. They plant, fell, prune, and take general care and maintenance of trees and plants. The role of the tree surgeon can be quite dangerous and tasking, mentally and physically. But if you are willing to put in the time towards developing yourself mentally and physically, then you should be able to handle it.
As far as qualifications are concerned, there are different pathways to take. Although you don’t need any specific qualifications before you can start learning to be a tree surgeon, becoming a recognized arborist requires a National Certificate in Arboriculture.
To become a tree surgeon, you could get a university degree, get a diploma, or simply just become an apprentice and learn on the job. It's all up to you. Irrespective of the route you choose, nothing beats actual work experience in the field. You will have to be an apprentice at some point in your career before you can stand on your own.
Becoming a tree surgeon is no cakewalk, but the determined will always prevail.